President Bush To Recognize Eagle Scouts For Dedication To Volunteer Service

President George W. Bush will present the President’s Volunteer Service Award to Mark Hendrick, 20, Jake Wellman, 18, and Alex Braden, 20, when he arrives in Redding, California, on Thursday, July 17, 2008.  The students are Eagle Scouts and members of the Order of the Arrow, the national honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. To thank them for making a difference in the lives of others, President Bush honors volunteers when he travels throughout the United States.  This award presentation includes the 650th volunteer the President has honored since March 2002.

Hendrick, Wellman, and Braden have been instrumental in the long-range planning and execution of the Boy Scouts of America and the U.S. Forest Service's largest national service project since World War II. The service project, called ArrowCorps5, involves service at five U.S. Forest Service sites across the country and is expected to include 5,000 members of the Order of the Arrow providing more than 250,000 hours of volunteer service.  Hendrick, Wellman, and Braden are working in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest along with approximately 800 Boy Scouts from 33 states, Japan, and the Philippines to restore 150 miles of trail, build comfort stations, restore an historic fire lookout, and haul 12 to18 tons of illegally dumped garbage out of the national forest.  Hendrick, of Richland, Washington, is a student at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California; Wellman, who was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, will be a freshman at the University of New Mexico in the fall; and Braden, a native of Covina, California, is a senior at the University of La Verne.

In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service.  He created USA Freedom Corps, an Office of the White House, to strengthen and expand volunteer service.  Americans are responding to the President’s Call to Service.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 61 million Americans volunteered in 2006.  Go to www.volunteer.gov or call 1-877-USA-CORPS to find an existing volunteer service opportunity in your area or to find more information about service programs, including national service programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Citizen Corps.  USA Freedom Corps is also highlighting youth volunteer service.  Visit www.volunteerkids.gov for games and ideas designed to show how America's youth are making a difference.

The President's Volunteer Service Award was created at the President’s direction by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.  The Award is available to youth ages 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service; to individuals 15 and older who have completed 100 or more hours; and to families or groups who have completed 200 or more hours.  For more information, visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov.