By Amy Kriz

The Silver Cord Award is a distinguished volunteer service award available to Union High School students who earn a minimum 50 hours of community service/volunteering during their years of high school, for a total of at least 200 hours by the end of their senior year. Students can start the program at any time while in high school and can receive yearly recognition for a minimum of 50 documented hours. Upon completion of hours, participants receive a Silver Cord to wear on their robes at graduation in recognition of their achievement.

This year, Union High School had six students that received a Silver Cord at Awards Day: Rachel Hicks, daughter of Michael and Linette Hicks, with 497.5 hours; Kristen Lowe, daughter of Tom and Teresa Lowe, with 250 hours; Drake Mossman, son of David Mossman and Suzette Miller, with 270.75 hours; Tabitha Stwalley, daughter of Robert and Ellen Stwalley, with 256 hours; Joel Wauters, son of Jerry and Lori Wauters, with 210 hours; and Shanie Wiedenhoff, daughter of Mike and Caren Wiedenhoff, with 401.5 hours. Both Rachel and Shanie were also awarded a Service Neck Medallion for accumulating over 400 hours of service over their four years of high school. Currently, there are 30 students in grades 9-11 participating in the Silver Cord program.

Completing community service while in high school can be difficult with the many extracurricular activities students can participate in. However, it is one of the most commonly asked for activities on college applications and scholarships. Students can get involved and volunteer for a number of groups and activities including local churches, City Park and Recreation activities, sport camps, childcare, yard work, and more. If you or your organization are looking for young volunteers, please contact Union High School counselor, Amy Kriz, at and she will contact the current Silver Cord participants.