Name, Age: Wesley Collins, 18
School: West Hills High School
Accomplishment: Collins is an active volunteer.
Key to Awesomeness:
Wesley Collins helped transform a vacant dirt lot at into a playground for the school’s preschoolers.
The senior took on the challenge as an service project in January.
“It definitely made me realize how much things can change and how much people want to volunteer," he said.
Collins said he spent about 170 hours planning the project, coordinating roughly 40 volunteers and gathering donations. Together, the volunteers constructed an 8 x 8 sandbox with a cover and assembled a shed, tables and toys.
“Everybody who volunteered definitely saw that these kids really, really enjoyed playing with all the things that we built and how thankful they were for all the equipment,” Collins said.
Collins committed to the project after he realized his 5-year-old brother, a preschooler at the school, and his friends had a playground that was “not too exciting.”
“It was just sand over asphalt,” he said.
The project wasn’t Collins first volunteer experience. Collins, who joined the Cub Scouts when he was 8, said he has participated in more than 20 service projects.
“I’m always there to volunteer and help out,” he said.
Despite his volunteer and Boy Scouts commitments, the 18-year-old has found time to be actively involved in sports.
He is the captain of his school’s varsity , a member of the varsity , a former member of the team and a coach for the American Basketball youth basketball team.
Collins credits his family for encouraging him to be active at school and in the community. Collins’ parents are foster parents. They also recently adopted one of his younger brothers from Sudan, he said. He has eight brothers and sisters.
“They definitely motivate me to contribute to the community,” he said.
After graduation, Collins plans to attend and try out for the school’s volleyball team. He hopes to transfer to the University of California, San Diego to study advertisement and mass media.