Florida Department of Education
(FLDOE) recently announced the honorees for the Outstanding School Volunteer of the Year Award. Two of the three winners from Region III, Central Florida, serve in Brevard County schools. Youth Volunteer of the Year, Ishaan Jathal, is a senior at West Shore Junior Senior High, and Senior Volunteer of the Year, Ronald Patchell, is a volunteer at Kennedy Middle School.
“I believe that volunteerism, particularly by the youth, is the cornerstone of community betterment. I truly do believe that the adage holds true and that charity does start at home; understanding the needs and shortcomings of the world and applying it to one’s community is invaluable. We should think globally yet act locally,” Jathal said.
President of the West Shore Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Jathal’s group raised over $72,000 to fully fund a home for a Brevard County family. This lead to him being a keynote speaker at the International Habitat for Humanity Conference where he was also awarded the Habitat for Humanity International Humanitarian Award in 2019. Jathal is also active in the National Honor Society, and the Spanish Honor Society.
Ronald Patchell has volunteered at Kennedy Middle School for a number of years. He is known for providing encouragement to students and staff through acts of mentorship and volunteerism, and has even been known to rent limos to provide top-notch recognition for deserving students.
"Volunteering means seeing a need and giving of yourself to meet that need, thereby making a difference in the lives of other people,” Patchell stated.
The annual awards are presented to school volunteers who have exhibited exceptional commitment to enhancing quality instruction for Florida’s K-12 students. Winners are awarded in three categories — youth, adult and senior — in each of Florida’s five reporting districts. Region III, which includes Brevard, is made up of 11 other counties.