Sydney Rife ’24, who has been a member of a mother-daughter volunteer organization (National Charity League, or NCL) for several years, absolutely loves helping others. She and her mom have teamed up over the years to volunteer many times, and last summer they worked together to organize a fundraiser around one of the most popular sports: pickleball!
Sydney put in hours of work, planning a pickleball tournament (complete with an ’80s theme!) to benefit Housing Families First (HFF), a non-profit that helps families find a path to a permanent home. “I have volunteered a lot with HFF, and I wanted to do more for them,” shared Sydney. “HFF inspired my passion for helping others.”
The most challenging part of organizing the tournament was gathering in-kind donations for our raffle, prizes, food and drinks, and pickleball equipment, said Sydney. “At times it was discouraging because I would reach out to many people, but only get a few responses.”
But with her parents’ encouragement, and knowing that people were relying on her, Sydney persevered. Decked out in ’80s garb, more than 30 people participated in the tournament, with dozens of enthusiastic onlookers cheering them on, and more than $5,000 was raised for Housing Families First. Sydney said she was “super proud” to have raised so much money.
“The most rewarding part was speaking with all of the participants,” recalled Sydney. “Seeing everything that I had been working on for months come together was amazing to witness!”
At Steward, Sydney helps put together the yearbook and is a member of the Model UN Club, Fashion Club, and History Club. She is also a proud member of the Spirit Squad and National Honor Society, and she serves as a Steward Ambassador.
“The best thing about Steward is the family-like atmosphere,” she said. “I can make meaningful connections with my peers and teachers.”