Two Ravenscroft students have been recognized by Wake County’s Boys & Girls Clubs with their 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Jai Gupta ’25 and his sister, Nikki ’26, have been volunteering at the Raleigh Boys Club since 2021. Every month, they host a birthday party with cupcakes, balloons, games, entertainment and crafts. This ongoing service was inspired when they saw a need in the community.
“I initially got involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs through a local food drive. I was surprised to discover how much of a problem food insecurity was for the children there,” Jai explained. “As I spent more time volunteering, I also learned about the need for more resources to help these kids after school. I wanted to have a positive impact on the lives of these young boys, so we started hosting a monthly party to celebrate birthdays. They absolutely love the party and are always looking forward to it each month!”
Nikki said spending time with children at the Boys Club has been fun for them as well.
“I enjoy the interactions I have with the kids. I love seeing how excited they get when I arrive and the smiles on their faces. We have a lot of fun together,” she said. “It’s also incredibly rewarding to see how happy they are to celebrate their special day. They light up when they see the decorations and games. They really look forward to our time together, and I am happy to be a positive role model in their lives.”
In a letter acknowledging their award, Lindsey Doerr, the Clubs’ volunteer engagement manager, thanked Jai and Nikki for “always being willing to help with anything, and being the first to sign up.”
“Your continued support and encouragement of our members mean a lot, and just know you are truly making a difference,” she added.
Jai said that — their longtime commitment notwithstanding — this recognition came as “a total surprise.”
“It was a great feeling to be acknowledged for my dedication to a cause that I am passionate about. Seeing some of the children greet me after the award ceremony was a special moment,” he said. “It was a truly humbling honor as, ultimately, I was only hoping to make a small difference in the lives of these young children.”
“As much as I have given to these kids, I have also grown as a person,” Nikki added. “As a Ravenscroft student, it is very rewarding to be able to give back to the community and to be able to make a difference in the lives of the kids at the Boys and Girls Club. Hopefully, we can continue the spirit of volunteerism in our Ravenscroft community.”