Our February Project Leader Spotlight belongs to long-time HandsOn Broward volunteer and project leader, Jonathan Howard. Jonathan has been volunteering through HandsOn Broward for many years now. When asked how he first got involved, Jonathan said, “My middle school encouraged community service, so my mom started researching places both my younger sister and I could volunteer. While researching on the web, she found local places to volunteer but they didn’t make it easy. You had to call each one individually and see what times & days were available to serve. This made it time consuming. Many of the service hours they offered were during school hours and many places rejected us because of our ages (10 & 13 at the time). As she continued to search, she first found HandsOn Miami and eventually found HandsOn Broward. Their calendar view with age requirements, descriptions and variety of service types made it easy and possible to start serving the community at an early age.”
Since getting involved with HandsOn Broward, Jonathan has volunteered in numerous projects, such as National Days of Service like HandsOn Broward’s MLK Signature Day of Service, Family Volunteer Day and Children’s Services Council Back to School Extravaganza. “My volunteering started selfishly with my school offering three levels of awards each semester for doing service hours. I wanted the highest award level and so I began. I’ve since moved on to high school, ended up falling in love with volunteering and I am still going strong.” Jonathan is the perfect example of how passion can be driven through community service.
Jonathan didn’t stop at just volunteering; he began to lead as well and became one of HandsOn Broward’s amazing Project Leaders. In 2012, Jonathan became the youngest project leader at the age of 14 and began to lead the monthly project, Movies, Muffins & Beyond at Ronald McDonald House of Ft. Lauderdale. Jonathan presently leads a monthly electronic recycling program at ARC Broward.
“Volunteering has taught me how to work with different types of people, made me value what I have, made me compassionate to others’ struggles, and I’ve learned how to be a leader. I’m filled with pride when I drive by a past project and see the positive impact I’ve left behind. Through volunteering, I found my passion and will be heading off to college next school year to major in Marine Biology,” said Jonathan.
In 2013, Jonathan and his family were honored by the Points of Light Institute with the Daily Point of Light Award. He comes from a family that is passionate in helping the community and shows it through their commitment, drive and leadership.
One of Jonathan’s favorites quotes by President Barack Obama, states, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Jonathan truly exemplifies that ideal. Thank you, Jonathan, for all the work you do to make a difference in our community.