High school volunteers donate time, make friendships  at Gulf Coast Village

High school volunteers donate time, make friendships at Gulf Coast Village

CAPE CORAL, Fla. (Aug. 27, 2018) – Forty Southwest Florida teenagers spent a portion of their summer break volunteering at Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral, offering a valuable helping hand to staff while forming intergenerational friendships with residents.

Collectively, the high school students tallied more than 1,000 volunteer hours in Gulf Coast Village’s Life Enrichment activities program, helping lead interactive, enjoyable activities like arts and crafts, bingo and sing-alongs.

“It’s refreshing to see today’s youth take an interest in making a difference in the lives of seniors,” said Diana Nicol, volunteer coordinator. “Many of our student volunteers showed exemplary leadership abilities and were very dependable.”

Because Gulf Coast Village is sponsored by Volunteers of America, a nonprofit organization, students can apply their volunteer time toward service hour requirements of Florida’s Bright Futures scholarship program. Florida Medallion Scholars must complete at least 75 hours of community service, while Florida Academic Scholars need 100 service hours to qualify for financial assistance.

Adi Castillo, a junior at Cape Coral High School, was among the 40 students who spent a portion of this summer at Gulf Coast Village.

“I loved the friendly atmosphere,” Castillo said. “The residents and staff are so sweet and can cheer you up in no time. They feel like family.”

“It was a great learning experience for me,” added Adam Davis, a senior at Cape Coral High. “I had some great conversations with the residents and enjoyed being with them.”

Gulf Coast Village welcomes student volunteers, ages 14 and above, throughout the school year, in addition to adult volunteers eager to make a difference in the lives of area seniors. School, church and community groups also are welcome.

For more information about volunteer opportunities at Gulf Coast Village, please contact Diana Nicol at di****@gu**************.org or 239-573-3334.