EDITORIAL: Samantha is a role model
WODONGA’S 2014 Young Citizen of the Year will next week be teaching English in Indian schools on a six-week placement ahead of taking up her university studies in Australia.
Samantha Treffers, 18, was selected from a field of more than 20 candidates.
Ms Treffers has been a volunteer firefighter with the CFA for seven years and has raised money for Caritas, Shave for a Cure, the Good Friday Appeal and Relay For Life.
She also organised a winter sleepout with Carevan last year to raise awareness about homelessness and has volunteered for Carnivale, the Wodonga Children’s Fair, REDFest, the Salvation Army, Westmont and primary schools.
“I don’t do these things for recognition,” Ms Treffers said yesterday after receiving the award.
“But I am so excited and proud to have been named the young citizen.”
The early announcement was made because Ms Treffers is due to fly out of Australia on Sunday for India, where she will be teaching English in schools for six weeks.
When she returns from her stint in India, she will begin her studies in psychological science at La Trobe University.
Ms Treffers said she hoped the award would motivate others to get involved in the community.
“The younger demographic is not often seen out doing things and I think it eliminates the stereotype when people my age are getting involved,” she said.
“I think it’s good not just for young people to get involved, but everyone in the community.”
Ms Treffers is one of half a dozen former Catholic College Wodonga students who have been named the city’s leading young citizen after taking part in Remar, a youth ministry program run at the school.
Wodonga mayor Rod Wangman said Ms Treffers was a unanimous choice among members of the judging committee.
“It was an easy decision when we reflected on the breadth and manner of her contributions,” he said.
“She was particularly impressive, especially in the context of her being a young person who has achieved all those things in a short time.”