Sunday, December 21, 2014

Elite Citizen Scholar: William Lynch

5/16/2014

Active citizenship is the infrastructure making a community strong and giving it breath to fill its members with life, William Lynch said.

“Active citizenship is important to me because it is an outpouring of service to the people who have served me,” Lynch said.

Active citizenship is the infrastructure making a community strong and giving it breath to fill its members with life, William Lynch said.

“Active citizenship is important to me because it is an outpouring of service to the people who have served me,” Lynch said.

Lynch, who graduated Sunday from Ottawa High School with a 3.9 grade point average, has been selected as one of The Herald’s Elite Citizen Scholars of 2014. He is the son of Ryan and Heidi Lynch of Ottawa.

“The Ottawa community has supported my endeavors, pushed me to develop, aided me in my struggles, and guided my development,” Lynch said. “I have been served and will not waste any opportunity to give that same service back to my community.”

Lynch remained active throughout high school as a football team captain, a member of the track and field team, National Honor Society member and community prom activities director, student council member, Fellowship of Christian Athletes club leader, head of advertising for the Empty Bowls campaign and a participant in Make a Difference Day.

The 17-year-old also has served the community as a Bible study leader, worship leader and vocalist at New Life Church, Hope House volunteer, Kansas Board of Education student representative and Countryside Church junior camp counselor.

Some of Lynch’s fondest memories are from his volunteer service as a Salvation Army bell ringer, he said.

“It may not sound profound, but the time I spent ringing the bells for Salvation Army meant the most to me of all my community-service activities,” Lynch said. “I grew up doing this every year with my grandfather, Bill Lynch. I remember him bundling up a much younger me on cold evenings and taking me to stand in front of Walmart, singing and ringing those loud, jingling bells. Ever since I was little I looked forward to going out with my grandpa to spread Christmas joy and raise money for those who need it most.”

While the mission of the Salvation Army’s bell ringing campaign is to raise funds by filling the hanging red buckets, another need also is being met, Lynch said.

“As people walk into the store their minds are processing the events of the day, struggles they are facing, and the pressures all around,” Lynch said. “Ringing the bells allows us to give a ray of hope and joy to those who enter. We are able to exchange smiles, share our songs, and bid blessings to all who enter. We are caring for our community and giving them an opportunity to care for others.”

Though the cold wind can bite through clothes and gloves, Lynch said, every quarter, or smile, or thank you makes it worthwhile.

“Each year I look forward to serving my community ringing the bells, and I hope to continue doing it so I can share the hope in those loud, jingling bells,” he said.

In addition to his volunteer work and school and church activities, Lynch has worked as a waiter and barista at Bella Cucina restaurant, a farm hand at Brent Wright Equestrian, a mechanic assistant for Dodson Aviation and advertising coordinator at Dealer’s Outlet, he said.

Lynch plans to attend The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California, where he plans to major in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Pastoral Ministry, he said.

“After college, I plan on engaging with a foreign missions team or getting involved with the local church as an associate pastor or counselor,” Lynch said. “No matter what, I desire to serve people, full time.”

comments powered by Disqus