Charlotte Schmidt, a member of Parker’s 2017 graduating class, was recognized for outstanding community service at the 45th Annual National Philanthropy Day hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The event took place on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Charlotte was among 10 honorees recognized for the positive impact they have made on the San Diego community, including eight individuals and two not-for-profit organizations. She was named Outstanding Youth/Student Volunteer for her work with ElderHelp of San Diego, a nonprofit offering services to support older adults living independently.
Charlotte became involved with ElderHelp while working toward her Girl Scout Gold Award. She used speaking events, social media campaigns, and relationship-building tools to further ElderHelp’s reach and tap into new audiences. She used social media to disseminate the nonprofit’s message and mission and increased ElderHelp’s Instagram followers by 150 percent.
Though her work with ElderHelp earned her this prestigious award, Charlotte has been volunteering since she was very young. She led numerous volunteer projects as a Girl Scout and served as President of Parker’s Interact Club, encouraging students to get more involved in their communities.
“Volunteering and service have been central in my life from a young age, so it was natural for me to one day lead my own project,” said Charlotte. “While I certainly had to work very hard, the wonderful people I met at ElderHelp and around San Diego made it truly a pleasure.”
Now a freshman at The University of Notre Dame, Charlotte said her experience with ElderHelp has made her reconsider how her volunteer work might fit into a future career.
“I had always considered my academic work to be a separate entity from my volunteer work. I was, and continue to be, so inspired by those at ElderHelp that have put these two together. This has influenced both my studies and extracurriculars in college,” she said. “Working with the wonderful employees of ElderHelp opened my eyes to the vast possibilities open to me.”
On being recognized as one of the top volunteers in the San Diego area, Charlotte remarked: “I’m incredibly humbled to be honored this way.”