While Riverview High School junior Karlye Becker is a straight-A student and currently valedictorian of her class, it was her activities outside of school that attracted the attention of Bright House Networks.
Becker was among 20 students from throughout Tampa Bay who received a Bright House Networks’ Volunteer Youth Award during ceremonies May 4, at Tropicana Field.
All 20 of the students were recognized because they’ve performed at least 50 hours of community service throughout the year while maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or above.
That wasn’t a difficult criteria for Becker to meet. She’s been volunteering at Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort Inc., a no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin, every Sunday since the eighth grade while taking Advanced Placement classes and achieving a weighted grade point average of 5.76.
“I love animals, and I enjoy volunteering at CARE,” she said, adding that she’s adopted three dogs from the shelter including a blind special-needs dog. “They take in dogs and cats no matter what condition. It’s really moving to see them come in neglected and abused and then watch them leave happy.”
Volunteering at the shelter also gives her a jump start on her career plans. She hopes to attend the University of Florida to become a veterinarian.
Working at the shelter isn’t her only volunteer activity. Last summer, she volunteered at the Florida Aquarium. She also works with Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, which renovates homes for people in need.
At Riverview High School, she’s a member of the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society and volunteered with the Riverview Relay for Life.
Each of the Bright House Volunteer Youth Award recipients received a new laptop computer and computer carrying case Friday night before watching the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Oakland Athletics.
More than 250 applications for the awards were received from students throughout the seven-county area served by Bright House Networks in the Tampa Bay market.
“We believe volunteerism to be a core value and a civic duty,” said Mike Robertson, senior vice president of Bright House Networks Florida Operations. “This is one way that we can encourage young people to give back to their community. We hope that volunteerism will become a lifelong commitment for these winners, and their peers.”