Independence High School Senior Elena Paparizos Honored with
Youth in Philanthropy Award by Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland Chapter
On November 6, 2015, Elena Paparizos, a senior at Independence High School, was honored with the “Youth in Philanthropy” Award presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Cleveland Chapter. She was nominated by Karen Kannenburg, CFRE, Cleveland Metroparks. The award is presented to a young person in Northeast Ohio who demonstrates an outstanding commitment, through volunteerism, encouragement and motivation to his or her peers, to take leadership roles in philanthropy.
The National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon was held at LACENTRE Conference and Banquet Facility in Westlake where more than 500 business and civic leaders were present.
Elena was featured in the November issues of Cleveland Magazine and Inside Business with a feature story. Second Story Productions of Cleveland also produced a video about her philanthropic initiatives. Her high school counselor, Mary Dolejs, narrated the video.
“Elena is a go-to person,” said Dolejs in the video. “When anyone sees something that needs to be done, you can always count on Elena to get things done. When she sees a need, she does something to be a positive change. She is always looking for what she can do for other people and rarely thinking about herself.”
Since she was in seventh grade, Elena has used her love of dance by working with the City of Independence’s ICAN program that plans activities for residents with disabilities. Her ‘signature’ work with ICAN is choreographing a dance and teaching it to more than 20 individuals that range in age from 11-55 during the holiday season.
As a high school sophomore Elena took the initiative to reestablish a school club that promoted anti-bullying and making good decisions. As the third year president of Independence High School’s STAND (Students Taking a New Direction) Club, members spread awareness about the importance of making positive decisions that will result in a lifetime of happiness.
Elena also has been a volunteer at the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland’s Summer Camp for several years. In addition, she enjoys volunteering each summer at a Girls’ Camp at the Cornerstone of Hope in Independence where she can share her faith and values with young girls. She also is active in the Lifeteen program and is an Extraordinary Minister at St. Basil the Great Parish in Brecksville. She will be attending Baldwin Wallace University in the fall of 2016 to major in Speech and Language/Communication Disorders.
“Elena Paparizos epitomizes the spirit of philanthropy through sharing her time and talent as well as inspiring and motivating her peers to not only help others, but look within themselves to best utilize the treasures they have to share,” said Kannenberg. “When Elena sees an opportunity to help someone, she does not just talk about what needs to be done, she takes action.”
Acceptance Speech can be viewed at https://youtu.be/6qmOStTDDsQ
Video can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/144038305.
Click here for Cleveland Magazine/Inside Business feature story.