A graduating senior at Mandeville High School, Rachel Noto has won the HERO Award for July, 2012, and was presented with a glass plaque at her school a week after she graduated. The daughter of Eileen Creel and Jay Noto, she graduated first in her class of 343 students and will be attending Louisiana State University in the fall to begin her studies in pre-Med.
The HERO Award stands for “Helping Eagerly and Reaching Out," and is a recognition program conducted by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Communications. The award recognizes young leaders in St. Tammany Parish high schools for their outstanding accomplishments and community service efforts.
Attending the award presentation was Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher of Sophisticated Woman magazine, a publication of G&A Publishing, Inc., and Terry Master with Charter Business.
Rachel was nominated for a variety of school and community related activities, but primarily for founding the “Paws for a Cause” organization on the Mandeville High campus. In discussing the project, Rachel said she has always loved animals and knew that there were other high school students who felt the same way. While there are a number of service clubs at the school, none of them reached out to animal causes, she said.
“Paws for a Cause” provides volunteer service to the local animal shelter on weekends and also holds fund-raising events to buy supplies to assist in the work of the Humane Society. The group has about 30 members. “It’s fun to volunteer at the Humane Society, and we send groups for big projects and also just individuals to do whatever we can,” she explained.
“I think the club has become pretty popular and will continue after I leave,” she said. “A lot of people enjoy helping out at the Humane Society. We even made shirts for the club members to wear.” She said the loose-knit nature of the group also helped keep interest up. “There aren’t so many regulations like some other groups, you don’t have to put in a certain amount of hours, you just go help when you have time,” she said.
Sean Esker, the MHS Senior Guidance Counselor, nominated Rachel for the award.
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