Submitted by Aly Meiklejohn
On September 4, 2021, Alexis (Lexi) Meiklejohn ’22 was recognized for her outstanding service and received her third Presidential Volunteer Service Award for volunteering more than 100+ hours in a 12 month period, bringing her total up to 600+ hours of community service total in the last eight years alone.
Eight year-old Lexi began her volunteer work at the Animal Resource Foundation (ARF) cleaning kennels and washing towels and bedding. Lexi's passion for animals goes far beyond just helping — she aspires to become a veterinarian and open her own shelter after college graduation. At age 10, Lexi had created her own platform, Project PAWS raising awareness and funds for local shelters. Prior to COVID-19, she did presentations in classrooms and to local sports clubs, promoting the importance of microchipping and spay and neutering your animals and promoting "Adopt Don't Shop," which encourages the community to visit their local shelters or rescue when looking for a new animal companion.
Along with promoting her Project Paws, Lexi continues to volunteer at several shelters and recently, she was able to turn a sad situation into a happy one. With the loss of her beloved 12-year old dog Zoey, Lexi found herself with an abundance of food and unused diabetic needles, and was happy to donate them to Hills Hounds Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, which depends strictly on donations for their animals. While there, Lexi had the opportunity to meet a french bulldog named Doug, who came to the rescue unable to walk. With the amazing efforts from the members and volunteers of Hills Hounds, Doug now is walking and making a great recovery.
Beyond the animals, Lexi also likes to help wherever she can, volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Maryland in Baltimore, making grab-and-go breakfast, dinners, and crafts for the families that stay there. Last year, she focused her efforts on the RMH Pull Tab Project and was able to collect over 64,000 pull-tabs which RMH then sells to United Scrap Metal at market rate, receiving an average of 40 to 55 cents per pound. (Lexi hopes to do the same this year, so if you have any pull tabs you would like to donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a collection time.)
Additionally, Lexi volunteers with both the Maryland and Delaware Special Olympics (MDSO and DESO). She volunteered at the MDSO Polar Bear Plunge and the DESO summer games this past June, with plans to also volunteer at the Special Olympics State Golf Championship in Queenstown at the end of September, working with the athletes.
- class of 2022