Desert Vista senior Julia Thatcher was recently selected as a winner of the 2012 President�s Volunteer Service Award.

Travis Roemhild/AFN

Julia Thatcher has prided herself on the time she has spent volunteering and the work she has done for the community.

As an outgoing senior, Thatcher, student body president for the Desert Vista High School student council, will cap off her final year with the 2012 President’s Volunteer Service Award, which goes to American citizens who have a certain number of volunteer hours.

Thatcher has been involved in a number of volunteer projects both with her fellow students and at her church, the Phoenix First Assembly of God. She said there were two in particular that stuck out to her. The first was the Great Toy Giveaway for underprivileged children in the area.

“The excitement they had while waiting in line, they were giddy, was the best part,” Thatcher said. “I like that I go to a church with people that are all about reaching out. There are so many people willing to help and I am glad I am a part of that.”

Thatcher and her fellow classmates, with help from Mountain Pointe High School, brought in 20,000 box tops that were donated to Children’s First Academy in Tempe. Through the Box Tops for Education program, the school turns them into money they can then use for school supplies.

“It’s one of my favorites (charity) because you know it’s making a difference and going to a good cause,” Thatcher said.

After she graduates this year, Thatcher will go on to Arizona State University where she will look to major in broadcast journalism.

To date, the President’s Council has partnered with more than 80 leadership organizations and more than 28,000 certifying organizations to bestow more than 1.5 million awards to the nation’s deserving volunteers, according to the website,

“It’s an honor and it’s exciting to get recognized for this,” Thatcher said.

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