8th Grade, Patterson Mill Middle School
“Whenever I learn a new lesson I seem to comprehend a little better how hard it is for some people. I also enjoy community service because seeing people get the proper attention that they deserve makes people feel better about themselves.”
Samantha Bowling, or Sami, age 13, is an 8th grade student at Patterson Mill Middle School. She has been a member of the WeCancerve Movement's all-youth board of Advisors since 2018. She has helped with many projects, including Eggstra Special Easter Baskets, La Magnifique Boutique, Camp Happy, Goals for Grace, Be Your Best You Workshop and Breakfast Bags Bonanza. She has also led WeCancerve's first-ever Pillow Drive, and Winter Holiday Party for Foster Youth.
Sami enjoys giving back to her community because of all it does for her. She participates with other organizations that help her do these things, such as Girl Scouts. She is a second-year cassette in her troop, and has earned her Community Service, Silver Torch and Bronze Award. She has also helped with many other take action projects through Girl Scouts. Sami also works in other community groups, such as Harford County Public School's Student Mental Health Council and Bel Air United Methodist's Youth Group.
The earliest act of community service she remembers doing was at her church, St. James Lutheran, where she helped with The Lutheran Mission Society’s Miricle
Of Christmas program. This program provides a family (or families) in need with Christmas gifts and food. To do this, people buy canned food, clothes that will fit the members and toys off the wish lists that the families have made. This meant that Sami got to help others in need at a very young age.
“I have always felt empathy towards people but being as young as I was at the time I could not really put myself into the shoes of the families,” she reflects.
As she grows older and learns more about herself and the world around her, she thinks about that first act of service she did and how it helped those families. “I can now know what they would have felt like, how the presents and food that they received would have made them so happy and relieved to know that they could enjoy a Christmas dinner as a family. As I grow older, I start to realized how much we take for granted, when these things may never touch so many people in need. This makes me want to do more to help and I think that any child in need should receive the help and attention that they deserve.
As a Girl Scout, she has been recognized by her troop for earning my bronze award in 2017. A bronze award is the highest recognition that a junior Girl Scout can earn. In order to earn your bronze award, one must complete at least 20 hours of community service, make a difference by completing a take your bronze award.
Sami was inducted in the National Junior Honor Society in 2020 and elected president of her school's chapter. She is involved in many sports such as softball, soccer, and basketball. She also participates in her school’s band and Best Buddies program.