Community Stories

Samara Rawls awarded $2,000 Heart2Heart Scholarship

November 28, 2022

Samara Rawls awarded $2,000 Heart2Heart Scholarship

Samara Rawls is the recipient of Heart2Heart High School C.A.R.E. Scholarship, claiming $2,000 towards her higher education. 

Samara was presented with the award during the Heart2Heart RED Gala Nov. 10. The scholarship was funded in partnership with The Dr. Bill Kent Family Foundation.

The junior at Piper High School in Sunrise aspires to be a biomedical engineer. 

“I will create medical equipment for those in need, especially older individuals,” Samara wrote in her essay for the scholarship. 

Samara’s work with seniors has already started. During the pandemic, she created a tutoring business for younger students and included seniors, to help them stay cognitively engaged. 

She also led her Sunday school class in a holiday letter writing campaign to seniors. The group wrote 50 letters with motivational messages, scriptures and illustrations. The letters were delivered with a weekly food distribution through a local nonprofit. 

“I am so glad I was able to leave a positive impact on them,” Samara wrote. 

The campaign inspired her to write letters to her own family members, and she saw how the letters lifted their spirits. She has helped in the care of her own grandparents and great grandparents, including a 99-year-old grandfather, who recently passed away. 

“I know firsthand the importance of caring for older individuals who have physical, emotional and cognitive difficulties,” Samara wrote. “I have taken steps toward helping isolated seniors in my community to make them feel welcomed and know that they are cared for by me and many.”

Over the summer, Samara volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Sunrise. She helped escort older veterans around the clinic and assisted them with their paperwork. 

“It was enlightening to see and hear the veterans’ stories about their lives and how it was to serve in the Armed Forces,” Samara wrote. “I could see how they enjoyed our time together.”

She also experienced helping seniors abroad. During a mission trip to the Bahamas in early 2020, Samara volunteered at an assisted living facility. She helped to clean the facility, prayed with the residents and prepared food and supplies for them. 

Samara plans to create a community service activity, organizing volunteers who will create care packages for seniors in the community. 

“This will help connect seniors with younger generations, which is a benefit to both,” she wrote. 

Earlier this year, Lucas Pagel won the sophomore award of $1,500. A final $2,750 scholarship will go to a senior in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach County. 

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

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Heart2Heart Welcomes New Staff — in a New Space!

Heart2Heart Welcomes New Staff — in a New Space!

In case you haven’t met them in person yet, we introduced the new additions to our team:

– Rosevel “Rosie” Castro, outreach coordinator
– Peighton Stone, dietician and intern with us from Nova Southeastern University for eight weeks

Some of our team got new roles, too. Check out all the details about that — and our new office!