Presidents Volunteer Service Award Winners

Twenty mentors earned the Presidential Service Award in 2016 for volunteering 50 hours or more of service to the Morristown based organization, Kids to Kids. The award is a national merit award created by the White House to recognize charitable contributions within their community. The Kids to Kids program provides lessons and learning experiences to special needs families in the Morris County area by creating strong ties with middle school and high school students who volunteer their time and expertise.  Kids to Kids is the only group in Morris County to provide weekly, no fee or low fee, lessons in swimming, Tae Kwan Do, golf and yoga for special needs families.  Kid to Kid mentors received a certificate and medal recognizing their service contributions.


Ruthwick Guddeti, who received a Gold President’s Service Award  for donating over 100 hours of service to Kids to Kids teaching swimming lessons said, “When I won this award I was proud, it really meant a lot to me that my dedication was recognized. It was something I never expected to get, but when I achieved it I felt overjoyed. This award and K2K itself have really inspired me to give back more to my community.”

Practically every day of the week,50 Morris County students volunteers to mentor students with special needs to provide developmental sports and arts programs and gain a deep understanding of diversity and inclusion.  At its core, the student volunteer mentors learn the meaning of leadership and responsibility.  “The kids are so full of life and the families are so appreciative of the work we do. It makes it worthwhile,” explained Ella Sparacino.  Kids to Kids operates 7 different weekly programs, ranging from swimming to Tae Kwan Do to golf and yoga. It is a win-win for the Morris County community with the Kids to Kids mentors gaining valuable management and community service experience and the special needs community of Morris County learning life-long skills taught by trained mentors.

Sophia Sparacino, a mentor and Kid to Kid board member explained that she likes working with the children because “I get to practice trying out different strategies to motivate people and the kids are so much fun.”  When asked what advice would she give others thinking of mentoring with Kids to Kids Camryn Grizzetti said, “Try it out!  The other mentors you work with will become your best friends and the fun, upbeat kids will make your day.  The feeling you get seeing your name on the Presidential Award is great too.”

Award Winners 2016

Zoe Antonius, Betsy Brooks, Meghan Crowley, Matt Ellerthorpe, Rachel Farbman, Camryn Grizzetti, Ruthwick Guddeti, Vaishnavi Guddeti, Jack Hughes, Sonny Hughes, Mackenzie May, James O’Donnell Dominic Palumbo, Fiona Palumbo, Victoria Ratliff, Yusty Sanchez, Juliana Scerbo, Lauren Smith, Sophia Sparacino, Ella Sparacino, Alex Wang