Junior First Citizen: JFK’s Hailey Arritola receives scholarship

June 2021 Posted in Community, People, School

By Melissa Wagoner

Hailey Arritola, Jr First Citizen Scholarship recipient with parents, Jodi and Lance Arritola

When Hailey Arritola found out she was the recipient of this year’s Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce Junior First Citizen Award – a $2,000 scholarship presented annually to a deserving senior at John F. Kennedy High School – she was beyond surprised.

“I’m just super excited,” she enthused. “I didn’t expect this at all.”

A member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honors Society, JFK for Life, Habitat for Humanity and ASB Vice President, Arritola has an aptitude for leadership.

“I like being involved in as much as I can,” she said.

But it was Arritola’s involvement with the Habitat for Humanity – and one project in particular – that has felt especially significant.

“My most rewarding community service activity in the last several years is when myself and some of my fellow peers in our Habitat for Humanity group volunteered downtown to help paint a house for a family in need,” Arritola recalled in an essay submitted to the chamber, which oversees the scholarship. “To be able to help a family in this situation is both humbling and rewarding. Viewing the house at the completion has given me a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of pride…”

Along with her membership in school- sponsored clubs, Arritola – daughter of Lance and Jodi Arritola – was also an active member in her church, volunteering as an Alter Server and a member of the Junior Catholic Daughters for the past 10 years. She also played on four sports teams – basketball, volleyball, softball and track – coaching and mentoring young players as they joined.

“I really like volleyball because I fell in love with it the fastest,” said Arritola, who will join Eastern Oregon University’s volleyball team this fall.

While there, Arritola plans to major in Exercise Science, a course of study inspired by the numerous injuries she has accrued during her athletic career and the medical professionals who have helped her heal.

“I’m someone who can’t sit at a desk,” she said. “So, I need something hands-on that helps people.”

Although Arritola’s senior year did not go as planned – with the majority of her classes online – it is just one of the many ways she has persevered through difficulty.

“What impressed us most is that she was able to do all this, excel in school, excel in four different sports and excel as a person,” Chamber Treasurer Kristi Brackinreed said at the award ceremony.

Arritola isn’t planning to slow down any time soon.

“My future goals for community service are to continue volunteering through my church and school in whatever way
is needed,” she wrote. “I plan to continue doing the services that I have been involved in through the past 10 years in both my community, church and school. I feel as though these services have humbled me and made me want to continue helping others. I want to encourage others in my community to take volunteerism seriously and see the positive effects it has on the community.”

 

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