Junior Rhea Jain awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for community service


Courtesy of Rhea Jain

Jain received her award through the Jain Center of Northern California, which she has been a part of for seven years.

In Nov. 2020, junior Rhea Jain won the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her contribution of over 70 community service hours over two years to the Jain Center of Northern California (JCNC) volunteering activities. She physically received the award on Jan. 20, 2021.

JNCN is a nonprofit welcoming 1500+ people from Silicon Valley to celebrate Jainism. They offer their participants various volunteer opportunities, many of which Jain seized. 

“The Community Service Hours at JCNC were for dedicated weekly activities, such as educational programs, cultural events, food and clothing drives, senior mixers, religious events, social and community events, etc.,” Jain said.

Jain was recognized for her hard work because JNCN is partnered with the PVSA (President’s Volunteer Service Awards) in order to acknowledge their high school student volunteers for community service. The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an opportunity to honor the most outstanding volunteers and recognize the impact they make.

Jain discovered this volunteer opportunity during her weekly visits to the JCNC. Seeing her parents volunteer and make an impact in the community is what inspired her to take this initiative. 

“It actually gave me a sense of joy after working for any volunteering activity,” Jain said. “I was greeted with smiles, welcoming messages, thank-yous from community members who did not know anything about me. However, I was able to help and bring cheer on their faces.”

Jain has been part of the JCNC community for over seven years but began volunteering two years ago.

“Being tech-focused, my keen interest was in building Educational App content for kindergarten and middle schoolers,” she said. “It further led to knowledge about the principles of religion and a selfless and helpful attitude in my day-to-day life.” 

Although the JNCN is closed now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and most of the social and volunteering activities have been put on hold as mandated by state guidelines, Jain hopes to volunteer again once the programs resume. She gained experience and pride through earning her award and looks forward to continuing to contribute volunteer hours.  

“I was very proud to receive my PVSA certificate, medal and letter from the White House for my distinguished contribution via JCNC. Along with social networking, I learned a lot while doing volunteering activities,” Jain said. 

Jain advises anyone looking into community service to be focused on their passion and impact.

“Make sure you are really passionate about your local community,” she said. “It helps cultivate a sense of empathy and understanding of the individuals, helping realize how you can make an impact on the environment and community around you and make it a better place for yourself.”