Ella Sokolowski, a senior day student from Seminole, FL, was awarded the Florida Holocaust Museum’s 2020 Anne Frank Humanitarian Award because of her hundreds of hours of community service work.
About the award
For 19 years, the Florida Holocaust Museum has presented the Anne Frank Humanitarian Award to one junior at each public high school and every major private school in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota Counties. This award recognizes humanitarian actions that better the lives of other individuals or a group. By “doing the right thing,” their recipients hold true to the nature and spirit of Anne Frank, who despite everything she endured, did not abandon her ideals: “in spite of everything I still believe that people are truly good at heart.”
Ella’s commitment to community service
Ella certainly holds to those ideals. “I’ve been volunteering for a while,” she said. “I did beach cleanups in Girl Scouts when I was in Lower School. It’s something my parents have always done too. My family fosters cats and dogs for SPCA and other local animal shelters.”
“Ella truly realizes the importance of giving back and, I feel, will do her part to make our world a better place.”
Jeri Williar, Farragut’s Director of Counseling, nominated Ella for the award. “I nominated Ella because of her commitment to community service,” Mrs. Williar said. “Ella truly realizes the importance of giving back and, I feel, will do her part to make our world a better place.”
Ella, who didn’t even know she’d been nominated until she got the phone call saying she’d won, was incredibly grateful. “It feels really good because I’ve never been recognized for all my community service,” she said. “I never really thought about how much I do, and telling them how much I do made me realize that it actually is a lot.”
Outside of school, Ella has done landscaping for Habitat for Humanity, sorted clothing donations as a member of the Interact Club, and served as a teen volunteer during the holidays at All Kids Wonderland at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. At Farragut, she’s been involved in the Little Captains summer camp for the past four years, and during the school year, she gives campus tours to prospective students at open houses and tutors her peers in math. With all of this and more, Ella currently has 714.5 hours of community service hours accrued, 274 of which are from the National Honor Society. For context, Farragut currently requires 80 hours to graduate.
“The community at Farragut fosters humanitarianism,” said Ella, who has attended Farragut since Kindergarten.
In addition to Interact Club and Little Captains, Ella is also involved in Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, and Spanish National Honor Society. She also plays Volleyball, and she wants to continue to play in college, where her goal is to get a degree in mechanical engineering. Her top choice right now is the California Institute of Technology.