Name a volunteer service, and Jack Mazzulo has probably done it.
Beautify a school campus, serve meals at a homeless shelter, read books to children, peer mentor, assist preschool teachers, visit assisted living homes – He can check them all off.
For his service, Jack, a recent Providence High graduate, was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award, for volunteering more than 500 hours in the community during high school. The award is designed to honor Americans who are committed to service and help inspire others to get involved.
“He is a humanitarian,” said Michelle Mazzulo, Jack’s mother. “He gives of himself so selflessly.
“He can’t help himself.”
Jack said his most memorable service opportunity came years ago, at his mother’s workplace, a daycare. Jack helped kids in the program with academics.
That’s when he met a little boy who was having difficulties focusing and behaving appropriately in school.
“He acted out and nobody was getting through to him,” Michelle said. “So Jack had this idea of rewarding him.”
Each week, Jack helped the boy with reading and talked about the importance of learning.
At the end of the week, if Jack received an excellent report from the boy’s teacher, the two would go out for ice cream.
When the boy had something to look forward to, “he was able to appreciate school,” Jack said – and the two have remained friends.
While Jack has mentored younger students, he also has helped peers who struggled in school. Michelle said Jack would often stay up late at night, putting his own homework on hold, so he could help a friend who had a question about Spanish, science or math.
“I love seeing the look on their faces when they finally get it,” Jack said.
He aspires to be a physician. During high school, he worked with a UNC Charlotte graduate student in the field of biomedical engineering, where he learned about MRI images and computer software. He also shadowed cardiologists for two weeks, observing procedures such as heart catheterizations and nuclear stress tests.
“I learned what it means to be a doctor and what it means to be a doctor who cares for their patients.”
When he has a moment outside of volunteer work and internships, Jack serves as captain of his high school soccer team. He’s played soccer since he was 4.
Jack will attend Princeton University in the fall and plans to major in the sciences. He said he hopes to continue his volunteer work in college.