Youth Spotlight | Patrick Whelan

Updated: Oct 28

We're proud to introduce another of our incredible youth participants! Meet Patrick!


What grade are you in, what school do you go to, and how long have you been involved with Hands4Hope?


I am a senior at Oak Ridge High School and I have been involved with Hands4Hope for two years. I will be President of the Oak Ridge Empower Club at school this coming year and was Secretary of the Club last year. I was Co-Chair of the Ryan Christopher Hersh Scholarship Committee in the spring and I am currently Chair of the Operations and Finance Committee for the Fall Festival Planning Committee.


How did you hear about Hands4Hope? What motivated you to join?


I heard about Hands4Hope through my school. Some of my friends were a part of the club and suggested that I join it as I was looking for a good place to do some community service. I was not involved with the organization much at first but after participating in the Oak Ridge Empower Club this last year, I really enjoyed it and began participating in more committees.


How has your experience with Hands4Hope shaped you into the person you are today?


Being a leader this past year, I feel that I have learned an incredible amount about how to take charge of a group and work with others. I also gained a lot of confidence in my leadership abilities. At first, our club was not super outgoing and it was hard to get them to participate, but over the year I learned a lot of new ways to encourage participation and work with the club.


How has Hands4Hope helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life?


I feel that Hands4Hope has made me a much more organized person as I had to manage events for the organization, a skill that has carried on into school as well.


Another huge way that Hands4Hope helped me was in communicating with adults and members of the community that I may not know. In this way, it really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I now have no problem reaching out to business owners, mentors, and other adults in the community that I may have been hesitant in contacting before.


What value do you think Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference adds to the community?

I think that Hands4Hope offers a great outlet for youth around the community to get involved and help those in need by encouraging a strong sense of community and aid to those who need it most. It is both fun for volunteers and beneficial to members of the community that might need some assistance. I feel that it really adds a value of unity to the community as it provides fun, relief, and assistance to many people in the area.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experiences with Hands4Hope?

Something I would like to add about Hands4Hope is that it has really introduced me to so many people and I have made so many good friends because of the organization. It allows youth to bond over a good cause, opportunities we need more of in today’s world.