Faith Baptist Christian Academy freshman Andrew Maynard is willing to take on whatever service is asked of him, from cleaning restrooms to cutting the lawn at his school.
Maynard’s unwavering dedication to service has earned him recognition as Youth Volunteer of the Year.
“It’s like a prize for helping others,” Maynard said as he reflected on the honor.
His mother, Donna Maynard, was a bit more emotional.
“It made my heart smile … I wanted to cry, I told him I’d rather him have a trophy like that than any other trophy at all in sports,” Donna Maynard said.
Faith Baptist JROTC instructor Charles Bell nominated Maynard, one of 105 K-12 students at the school and 31 ROTC students.
“[He does] hard work, never questions anything, he’s constantly willing to do what you tell him to do; he’s just a stand-up, hard-working young fellow …,” Bell said. “Any of those things that other people may shy away from; helping in the lunch room, sweeping the gym, cleaning up the bathrooms; he’ll do anything.”
The teen does not talk a lot but always works through tasks even when they become tedious or others get tired.
Ask Maynard why he gives so graciously, and his answer is simple.
“Because it’s good to help other people instead of helping yourself; you feel better,” Maynard said. “I feel really good inside.”
His mother said the award is gratifying because it validates that she has led by example.
“I have three kids, 18, 14 and 13, and as a parent, it doesn’t matter how much you instill in a kid, … just like any other parent, I always wonder and worry about my child and whether they’re doing what they’re supposed to do,” she said.
Bell affirms Donna Maynard’s curiosity.
“He’s willing to do whatever’s necessary, he does that even at the church … he just jumps right in, and if the pastor says this needs to be done, he’ll just get up and do it — He is already, but he’s going to be a fine young man one day.”
Bell is quick to add that though Maynard’s service stands out, he is not the only student there worthy of recognition.
As for the award, Bell said it reinforces good citizenship.
“I think it shows kids there’s a different way, rather than being a butthead all the time, you can say, ‘Yes, sir,’ and, ‘No, sir,’ and go about your business, and it’s a good thing, not a bad thing …,” Bell said. “You can be submissive and do what you’ve got to so, we don’t have a lot of that anymore. But, like I say, we’re very fortunate — we have some great kids.”
Editor's note: This is the last of a series of articles on people and organizations honored by the Coastal Courier and United Way of Liberty County for their volunteer work.