DOVER, NJ - Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Every year, one senior from each high school across Morris County is recognized for demonstrating a caring, selfless attitude to another person or cause. This student has unselfishly dedicated a significant portion of their time and efforts to others, without intending to receive any reward or recognition.
According to Chatham High School counselor Joseph Barbato, these students are the “unsung heroes who have given to the local or outside community.”
The selective group of students recognized for their contributions were hailed at a celebratory breakfast at Berkeley College in Dover on Tuesday morning. Included among these students: a young, co-founder of an organization that sends school supplies to impoverished children in Jamaica, a senior who helps collect and redistribute medical equipment to less fortunate countries, a student who funded the building of a girls school in Pakistan, and Chatham’s own “unsung hero,” Shannon Lamb.
Lamb was initially recognized by her high school counselor for her dedication to the Devoted to Children Foundation (D2C). D2C is a non-profit, community outreach organization dedicated to supporting impoverished, orphaned, and enslaved children in Cayes Jacmel, Haiti. Lamb has traveled to Haiti with her mother, Allison Lamb, and two other Chatham High School students, Caroline Capparis and Bella Marshall, three times.
During a previous trip, Lamb helped rebuild a school destroyed by the earthquake in 2010. She also volunteered at a children’s camp designed to keep young Haitian children active and off the streets. With the help of Capparis and Marshall, Lamb provided the children with an opportunity to participate in yoga, music, dance, and arts and crafts -- all the while providing them with lifelong companionship and lighting up the faces of children otherwise burdened by an impoverished, corrupt environment.
As a driven AP French student, Lamb has played a very significant role in the communication between the french-speaking Haitian children and the other D2C volunteers. Lamb has used her French skills to bond with the orphaned children, as well as to teach them English during her visits.
“The kids and the community and the people that I’ve met, they’ve all just been so sweet,” said Lamb. “Being able to speak French and communicate with them has been such a blessing.”
Outside of her volunteer work with D2C, Lamb has proven herself to be a “caring student” both within the classroom and the Chatham community. Lamb has tutored young students in math, and volunteered with an after-school computer science program at the Southern Boulevard school, where she helped rally the interest of elementary school students in the field of STEM.
Throughout her senior year, Lamb has remained an active contributor to D2C’s cause. Lamb started her own high school club to raise awareness and funding for the children of Haiti, Teens Dedicated to Children (TD2C), with Capparis and Marshall. Lamb has also been involved with the accounting aspect of D2C, managing the bookkeeping for the organization for the past two quarters.
Lamb will be returning to Haiti this summer to help co-chair a summer camp through D2C. Capparis and Marshall will also be accompanying her on her fourth journey to Cayes Jacmel.