News   |   Rates   |   Calculators   |   Community   |   Locations
About Us
History of Community First
Media Center
Annual Reports
The Credit Union Difference
Become a Member
Career Center
Community Calendar
Board of Directors
Awards & Recognition
Contact Us
Financial Literacy
Employee Center
ABA Routing Number

How can we help you?

Quick Links

Checking & Savings
Mortgage & Home Equity
Loans & Credit Cards
Auto Buying Service
Investments & Insurance
Become a Member
Community Focus
Ask Us A Question:
Home About UsMedia CenterNews

Appleton East’s Sydney Olmsted top youth volunteer

Community First-sponsored award includes $1,500 scholarship, $1,000 to recipient’s chosen charity – Pillars

Friday, May 24, 2019

Kathy Marx, a communications arts teacher at Appleton East High School, says spending 15 minutes with Sydney Olmsted would tell you all you need to know about the 18-year-old senior.

“You would not need to read her outstanding letters of recommendation, take note of her 4.0 GPA, check her rigorous course schedule or add the countless ways she makes a difference in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the community,” says Marx. “You would be immediately enamored by her eagerness, infectious attitude, attention to detail and overall ability to bring light to every situation she finds herself in.”

On May 1, Olmsted was in the spotlight when she received the Youth Scholarship Award sponsored by Community First Credit Unionat the Celebrating Volunteers Community Gala. The $1,500 scholarship also includes $1,000 from Community First to be awarded to the charity or nonprofit of her choosing.

Community First has sponsored the Youth Scholarship Award from the beginning 22 years ago when The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region developed the celebration of volunteerism.

High praise
Gifted. Motivated. Diligent. Leader. Well-rounded. Strong convictions. Mature. Self-confident. Compassionate. Empathetic. Motivator. Three-sport athlete. Team player. Respected. Positive attitude. Strong work ethic. Selfless.

Those are the adjective and positive attributes often used when describing Olmsted, who will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall planning to become a speech pathologist.

Marx says Olmsted’s volunteerism is “at the center of her heart.” She recounts a story where Olmsted, as a freshman, embraced a senior who struggled with autism and extreme social anxiety. Before long, the once shunned older student was accepted by the rest of the homeroom students. Marx says the image of Sydney and her new-found friend singing their own rendition of ‘Let It Go’ “is a vision that brings tears to my eyes to this day.”

Cathie Tierney, Community First President/CEO, introduced Sydney, describing her as an exceptional young woman. “You inspire us. You’ve brought rays of hope and light to lives of so many and now some of that light is reflecting back on you,” Cathie said.

“You give us hope for the future, Sydney,” Cathie said. “We hope you come back and continue that spirit of volunteerism and continue that love in your heart with all that you do.”

Upon receiving the Youth Scholarship Award, Sydney said she was humbled, proud and honored to be singled out. “Recognition of the importance of community involvement has taught me that with every contribution – big or small – I’m helping to make a positive impact in the world,” she said.

Along her volunteer journey Sydney said she has met “so many wonderful, selfless and kind people” who have been a joy to work alongside. And, she expressed gratitude to Community First for the $1,000 she will donate to Pillars. “I will continue to volunteer my time to help make the world a better place a little bit at a time and encourage you all to continue doing so as well,” Sydney said.

Scott Peeples, senior director of community engagement at Pillars, shared a story to illustrate Sydney’s devotion to helping others. On a Monday after spring break ended, Sydney arrived at the shelter at 5:30 a.m. and soon was “greeting men and women with a wide smile and a plate of hot pancakes prepared by her team of volunteers.”

Sydney’s actions along with her “upbeat spirit and words of encouragement” cast a shining light for others. “She brings hope to the people she serves and sets a great example for her peers, many of whom don’t have any idea that there are people living in homeless shelters in our community,” Peeples said.

Her $1,000 donation to Pillars will help provide shelter, food, shower and laundry facilities to over 1,000 people a year who stay at one of two Pillars homeless shelters. “The funding helps provide hope for people to regain their footing and get back on the path to independence,” Peeples said.

To learn more about Olmsted, watch the NBC26 Cares story or the Community Foundation For the Fox Valley Region feature.

print this page
tell a friend
Resize the font:
2020 FCCCU scholarship rules form
Monday, February 17, 2020
Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs: Food bank volunteering proves inspirational
Monday, February 17, 2020
Exclusive Savings for Community First member-owners
Friday, February 14, 2020
Community First offers boost to Pillars’ Keys to Hope fundraiser
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Community First key partner in career, financial literacy center
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Community First scholarship recipient eager for future
Friday, January 24, 2020
Three $1,000 college scholarships offered by area credit unions, applications due March 13
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Nominations Open for Celebrating Volunteers Youth Scholarship
Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Lifting spirits Police Lights of Christmas-style
Sunday, December 15, 2019
Thank you for leading the way in the fight against hunger
Monday, December 9, 2019
Waupaca celebrates members on 30th merger anniversary
Monday, November 25, 2019
Community First Champion Center a ‘testament to cooperation’
Friday, November 22, 2019
Police Lights of Christmas ‘just unbelievably special’
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Community First engaged in ringing in the holidays
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Community First volunteers get into Halloween spirit while helping local non-profits
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Help Stock the Shelves to fight hunger in Wisconsin
Friday, August 30, 2019
Fox Jazz Fest celebrates Wisconsin’s special connection to jazz
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Great Cover Up Diaper Drive draws donations from far and wide
Friday, July 19, 2019
Avid anglers love assisting youth on Community First Free Fishing Day
Thursday, July 11, 2019
‘Meraki Warriors’ Rally for a Reason in Green Bay
Friday, June 28, 2019
Volunteer of the Year, 92, likes break from ‘peace and quiet’
Friday, May 24, 2019
Appleton East’s Sydney Olmsted top youth volunteer
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Community First-sponsored Celebrate De Pere kicks off busy summer of events
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Mr. Lucky’s Team raises $3,159 through MS Walk
Friday, May 3, 2019
Community First and Sexual Assault Crisis Center chosen for Business Partnership honor
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Community First members awarded three $1,000 Greater Fox Cities Chapter of Credit Unions scholarships
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
FVTC student grateful for $500 Community First scholarship
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Honoring the Legacy of Community First Founder Maury Dresang
Friday, February 22, 2019
Community First CU teams serve up hope and compassion at Pillars
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Community First accepting donations to honor New London teenager killed in a tragic car crash
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Community rallying to help Manawa family after devastating home fire
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Applications, nominations open for Community First-sponsored scholarships
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Community First’s ‘Magic Minute’ shopping spree benefits individuals experiencing homelessness
Site Search:   Home    |    Contact Us    |    Site Map    |    Privacy Policy
Community First Credit Union   P.O. Box 1487  Appleton, WI    54912-1487 920.830.7200    1.866.273.2328
Web Design & Content Management System by Cambium Group, LLC