Senior service beyond the heart


Goal Three of Sacred Heart Greenwich’s Goals and Criteria inspires students to develop a social awareness which impels to action, according to Towards the end of their senior year, members of the senior class have completed at least 25 hours of community service each year related to a social justice issue about which they are passionate. Seniors Maggy Wolanske and Tory Huchro worked individually with different organizations to help both local and international communities. 
Since eighth grade, Maggy has worked with Family Centers, a private nonprofit organization that offers education, health clinics, and human services to children, adults, and families in Fairfield County, Connecticut, according to Family Centers serves more than 21,000 residents each year in towns such as Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, and New Canaan. The organization also includes preschool and early care programs for young children to emphasize discovery, cooperation, and communication, according to

Maggy Wolanske ‘18 poses for photos alongside two Family Centers volunteers and Family Centers’ Board Chairman after receiving the Outstanding Youth Volunteer award. Courtesy of 

“I know that my volunteer work is something I will always carry with me,” Maggy said. “I focused on early childhood education for my final Senior Seminar project and have become so aware of the need for more early childhood education programs in our area. Additionally, I feel so passionately about my volunteering that I know I will always come back to visit the preschool.”
Maggy works with Grauer Preschool, one of Family Centers’ three preschool locations, reading to students and assisting teachers with classroom activities. The town of Greenwich awarded Maggy its first-ever Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award Tuesday, November 1, 2016. The award recognizes a high school student who has displayed a commitment to community service, according to
“The award I was recognized with in junior year does not compare to how rewarding it is for me to hand out the yearbooks I make at the children’s graduation,” Maggy said. “They all yell when they see their faces and they get so excited to write their names in each other’s books. Seeing the children so happy reminds me of how much I love volunteering.”
About 7,700 miles away from Family Centers, Tory volunteers with Villages in Partnership (VIP). VIP is a development organization that works in the rural areas of Sakata, Malawi, partnering with 25 villages and impacting over 19,000 native’s lives, according to
Tory Huchro ’18 holds a young child in Malawi. Courtesy of Tory Huchro ’18

Tory has worked with VIP for the past ten years and was able to travel to Malawi on four different occasions. During her visits, Tory worked with schools in the area, helping teach preschool English classes, as well as working at health clinics, giving vaccinations to the local people.
Tory’s long affiliation with VIP inspires her to continue helping the organization even when she is not on the direct site of the foundation. She hopes to spread awareness about the conflicts that Malawi faces, as 50 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to
“I continue [volunteering] here in the United States by participating in Water Walk Fundraisers and [going] to other schools [to give] presentations, helping people understand the [critical] issues that plague the nation of Malawi,” Tory said.
Maggy offered advice to underclassmen who must complete 25 hours of community service every year, hoping that students focus on organizations and social justice issues that pique their interests.
“My biggest piece of advice for underclassmen regarding community service is to volunteer with an organization you feel passionate about,” Maggy said. “You truly can make a difference in your town, you just have to dedicate yourself and the time.”
– Sydney Gallop, Staff Writer
Featured image by Sydney Gallop ’20