By Kaitlin Lindahl, ‘12
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — For St. Bonaventure University sophomore Simone Bernstein, April has been a standout month. Bernstein, founder of the teen volunteering site StLouisVolunteen.com and VolunTEENnation.com, has been recognized for her achievements not once but twice this month.
In the April issue of Family Circle, Bernstein is featured in an article for doinggood.com. The article focused on five teens who are using social media and the Internet to make a positive change.
“After finishing her junior year at high school, Simone spent the summer creating StLouisVolunteen.com, a comprehensive one-stop website for tweens and teens wanting to pitch in,” the article stated.
A year ago, Bernstein said the writer of the article approached her and asked if to talk about St. Louis Volunteen.
“Over the course of a few months, she interviewed me over the phone and asked me questions about the organization,” said Bernstein, an undeclared major. “They wanted to feature articles about students in various communities throughout the United States. Throughout the year, they continually sent me email updates with information to edit for the article.”
Bernstein was thrilled about her inclusion in the article because of the wide readership Family Circle has.
“The magazine reaches so many homes with children throughout the United States,” she said. “After the article was published, I received multiple emails from parents and teenagers across the nation interested in getting more involved in volunteering.”
In addition to the feature in Family Circle, Bernstein, a pre-med major was also award with Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Responsible Scholars scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship is awarded to five college undergraduates. Bernstein was selected because of her creation and the efforts of StLouisVolunteen.com.
Bernstein said the scholarship is an application process, and it’s awarded to students who initiate a service or volunteer program. She said the scholarship money was sent directly to St. Bonaventure’s business office to pay for schooling.
“It is amazing to see students finding volunteer opportunities through Volunteen Nation. Not only is it interesting to see the vast number of students finding volunteer opportunities, but it's also incredible to see the greater connection the volunteers feel with their community after contributing service hours,” Bernstein said. “We are a generation that is ready to solve problems in the community. Anyone can volunteer at any age. Everyone can make a difference.”
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.