OLMA junior, Tori Lau, likes taking care of people — and it shows. This year alone, as part of the OLMA Interact Club, Tori has planted dune grass in Atlantic City, played BINGO with the residents of Maurice House in Millville, made blankets and no-slip socks for children, helped a local parish with holiday preparations, made get-well letters for the sick, created Mother’s Day flowers for the ladies of Maurice House, and more.
She also served as a “BIG” to a “LITTLE” as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, delivered food to the homeless in Philadelphia, and helped make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for distribution at Code Blue warming centers in Millville, Vineland and Bridgeton.
Tori says that her mother and grandmother have inspired her to serve. “My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an early age and needs lots of care,” said Tori. “She lives with us, so my mom and I work together to make sure she has everything she needs. It’s not easy, but I love being able to help her.”
The experience has also taught Tori to appreciate everything she has and to enjoy every day. “Your life can change at any moment, so it’s important to focus on and be happy about what’s right with your life right now.”
This summer, Tori will have the opportunity to meet other teens who share her passion for service as one of OLMA’s delegates to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award). RYLA is a five-day leadership program coordinated by Rotary clubs around the globe. Each year, thousands of young people participate. Tori was selected for this honor by the Rotary Club of Tri-County, the club that sponsors OLMA Interact. RYLA will be held at Stockton University at the end of June. “I am so excited to go to RYLA,” said Tori. “I can’t wait to meet new people and to learn from the whole experience.”
Until then, Tori is focused on fininshing up the school year and traveling to Canada for her Mini-Mester. As she sets her sights on senior year, Tori says she’s thinking about going into nursing. Based on your love for helping others, nursing seems a perfect fit. Enjoy RYLA, Tori and thanks for making us proud.