Ryan Brissenden, a senior at Baker High School, has been selected as the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center's 2009 Teen Volunteer of the Year.
Each year, the Volunteer Center awards its Marilyn Swete Memorial Scholarship to a graduating senior who has displayed outstanding community service.
"There are many students who apply for this scholarship who do a lot of good work in our community, but Ryan's volunteer spirit really stood out" said Nancy Conley, executive director.
Over the course of his high school years, Brissenden has been active in Amnesty International and Le Cercle Francais, which he was the president of this past year. He was the sound technician for both the Silk & Satin and Tone Colors vocal jazz groups and was also involved with several high schools musical productions serving as stage and prop manager, lighting design, sound technician and advertisement sales.
His community service includes volunteering at Community General Hospital, being a regular blood donor and playing a major role in the Baldwinsville Relay for Life for the past four years. Ryan has devoted countless hours serving as a team captain and as a planning committee chair member.
"This event has definitely brought stress and frustration into my life, but I have learned to conquer it by imagining the eventual result of our efforts. I often think about how five minutes of my time can potentially save five years of someone else's," Brissenden said in his essay. His dedication to this fight against cancer has raised around $15,000.
The Baldwinsville Volunteer Center mobilizes people and resources to fulfill needs within the community. Its programs include transporting senior citizens; the Christmas Bureau, which provides food and gifts to families and elderly shut-ins; mentoring school children; promoting community involvement and opportunities for youth, and an information and referral helpline to let people know about community resources and promote volunteer opportunities. For more information on the Volunteer Center, visit bvillevolunteers.org or call 638-0251.
Megan O'Donnell (left), president of the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center board, and Nancy Conley (right), executive director of the center, present Ryan Brissenden with the Teen Volunteer of the Year award.