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Castaic Student Receives Presidential Award for Public Service

Photo+taken+from+Castaic+High+Schools+Instagram%3A+%40castaic_hs
Photo taken from Castaic High School’s Instagram: @castaic_hs

On February 9 at Castaic High School, Principal Ferry and the staff gave upperclassman Broden Weeks the gold-level Volunteer Presidential Service Award for his hundreds of public service hours for the school and the community.

Weeks, a Junior here at Castaic High School, is the executive producer for Castaic High’s weekly morning show, Good Morning Castaic. Along with his role on Good Morning Castaic, Weeks also does documentation on extracurricular activities here at Castaic High School whether that be taking video of basketball games or filming dance recitals.

“I mainly do it for the people to enjoy it,” Weeks said. “What I mean by that is I want parents to be able to look back at the videos and say ‘Wow! I’m so proud of my kid’ and I want the kids to be able to look back and be proud that they were a part of something in high school.” 

Growing up, Broden said he always had a passion for filming as well as being involved with his community. So when he arrived at Castaic High School, he felt it was the perfect opportunity to put those two qualities to use. 

“I’ve been involved with the film program since I was in middle school and I’ve always wanted to help out in the community,” Weeks continued. “But since I got to Castaic High School, the filming has really gotten me out there and allows me to create spotlights on local businesses and other things going on in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

Broden has also documented clips of first responders in action, whether that be filming firefighters who are rescuing people or videoing for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Not only that, but he’s been a junior lifeguard at Castaic Lake for four years and for two of those years has been an assistant instructor. 

By spending his free time providing community service to Santa Clarita, Weeks racked up more than enough service hours to receive the gold level of the Volunteer Presidential Service Award. In order to win the gold level, someone has to have more than 250 hours of community service completed.

“So for the past few years, my parents have been keeping a tally of how many community service hours I’ve done and I’m pretty sure it comes out to over three-hundred hours.” Weeks said.

Weeks was a little surprised to receive the award though, in fact he didn’t even know the award ceremony was for him. He thought that Principal Ferry had only asked him to film the staff meeting for someone else to receive an award.

“This award came as a complete surprise to be honest,” Weeks said. “I was told that somebody was receiving an award. I thought I was just there to film and support. Little did I know that I was the one getting awarded so it was really cool to be surprised and receive this award.”

Many staff members at the ceremony had great compliments about Broden, including Principal Ferry.

“I can’t imagine this place without Broden,” Principal Ferry said in an interview with the Signal. “He’s an amazing man. We know his parents are doing an exceptional job raising the paradigm of what not only a student, but a child should be.”  

Other staff members at Castaic High school have also commented on how proud and thankful they are for all of the time that Broden has committed to extracurricular activities at the school.

“Broden is a phenomenal student and the Presidential award was well-deserved by him,” said Mark Overdevest, Castaic High School’s athletic director and ASB teacher. “Since the first day I met him, he has tried to involve himself in everything on campus. As far as earning a Presidential award for public service, there’s nobody I know that’s more deserving than Broden.”

For two years now, Weeks has also been enrolled in the William S. Hart fire academy, where he’s a class lead. 

“Since this is my second year in the fire academy, I’m a class lead. I’m basically there to help the first-year kids and the fire instructors with any workouts or training,” Weeks said. “It not only allows me to teach the first-year kids, but it’s also provided me with a lot to learn as well.”

Although he’s only a Junior, Broden already plans on attending College of the Canyons after he graduates high school. Adding to his passion for public service, he’s aspiring to become a firefighter public information officer. 

“I think being a firefighter public information officer would be a great job because it would allow me to combine the social media aspect along with my dream of becoming a firefighter,” Weeks said.

With all of his dedication and love for providing service to the community of Santa Clarita, there is no doubt Weeks will carry his selfless character towards his future.

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About the Contributor
Jack Teoli, Staff Writer
Jack Teoli is a staff writer for Castaic high school’s newspaper, the Daily Howl. This is his first year with journalism and he is very excited to be a part of the team. With strong interests in current events that revolve around government and economics, his goal is to produce informative articles that will give students at Castaic a better understanding about what’s going on outside of school and what effects it has on them. Though he doesn’t know what he wants to do for a living yet, he knows he’s passionate in areas that involve speaking, law, and writing. In his free time, he likes to surf, listen to music, and play the guitar.
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