Missions just starting for Smiley
June 08, 2011 - Helping others is second nature for Chloe Smiley and for it she was recognized.
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The Clarkston High School senior was a finalist for the 2011 Prudential Spirit of Community Award and received the President's Volunteer Service Award.
"It was a really cool honor," she said. "It was nice to be recognized for it. It's almost kind of awkward because I don't volunteer to get an award."
Both were for her work on the 30-hour famine project with her youth group at North Oaks Community Church, where she served as coordinator.
"I planned the 30 hours," Smiley explained. "I planned what we were doing - we prayed, we worshipped, we performed skits and music."
The famine project included up to 30 people participating. They had to raise funds ahead of time and go without food for 30 hours.
Smiley volunteers at her church on a regular basis in the children's care center, music coordinator, and other events in which the church participates such as Christmas in Action.
"Volunteering with my church allows me a lot of opportunities," she smiled. "I like to serve with my friends and with God at the same time."
She was also vice-president for the National Honor Society at the high school and spent time volunteering for their events such as school fairs.
Part of her free time was spent on the high school's cycling club and she was a nanny to three kids.
Her plans for the summer include working and going on a mission trip to New York City.
"I am really excited about it," she said. "It's inner city New York so we will be cleaning up, and doing street evangelism. We usually find out more once we get there so it is always a surprise."
Last summer she went to Washington, D.C. on a mission trip and also went to Mississippi to help with clean up from destruction left by Hurricane Katrina.
"It was a really good experience and a lot of hard work," she said. "It was a few years after Hurricane Katrina. I didn't realize how much destruction was done. You forget about it once it is not on the news all the time. The beaches were still completely covered with trash. We cleaned up, worked with the local communities and helped in the soup kitchens."
Smiley is going to Grove City College in the fall where she will study entrepreneurship.
"Ideally I would like to start my own business," she said. "I don't have specific plans but I plan to figure it out more once I get there."
She plans to continue volunteering and will see what opportunities there are.
"My college has a lot of mission trips we can do as well," she added.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.