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Ursuline Academy senior takes time to help her community, lead fellow students

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CINCINNATI - Claire Hayes is a senior at Ursuline Academy and works to help her community as well as her fellow students.

Hayes serves as a member of Ursuline Academy's Community Service Leadership Board. The board is a student team that plans all the large service projects throughout the year.

Hayes maintains a 3.95 GPA and has taken advanced placement and honors courses.

"I really like seeing the effect that if I can share my passion that it can spread throughout the school and getting other students involved in it," Hayes said.

Hayes' teachers will tell you, she always goes the extra mile to help out her fellow students.

"She is genuine in her commitment to service. She's a leader both in the eyes of faculty and staff her and the students. She's committed to community service and her academics," said Kira Hinkle, the Community Service Coordinator for Ursuline Academy.

Hayes works to make social change in the community, Hinkle added.

"Currently serving in her second year as Relay for Life Chair, I have personally seen [Hayes'] ability to excite a group of students about the importance of our crusade to find a cure for cancer, to run a meeting consisting of over 100 students, and to organize behind the scene logistics for a 1300 person event," Hinkel said. "I think we have all encountered students who possess some of these abilities – but to encounter a student who possesses all of these skills partnered with a true and genuine passion for social change is extremely rare."

Hinkle added that Hayes excels as a leader.

"When I say she leads/coordinates these events, I truly mean she leads them. She will consult me when she has questions, but other than making an occasional phone call during the day and tracking permission forms, she does everything for the events – working with the non-profit agencies, promoting the event, coordinating travel, reflection, and more," said Hinkle.

Clare Blankemeyer with the Mayerson High School Service-Learning Program has been working directly with Claire Hayes for some time.

"Through the Mayerson Summer Service Residency Program, [Hayes] was recognized immediately as a strong servant leader; completely comfortable and confident in new and unfamiliar places with an uncanny ability to be present with the people that surrounded her," Blankemeyer said. "The Summer Program provides in-depth service immersions into our urban core with students from all over the city. [Hayes'] openness and friendliness broke the ice for so many of the students immediately. Not to mention, her presence with people also helped in the direct service experience; most notably, while she was interviewing guests experiencing homelessness at the Drop Inn Center."

Ursuline Academy President Sharon Redmond said that she always sees Hayes going the extra mile.

"[Hayes] is a wonderful student and great community leader who is very involved in community service," Redmond said. "[Hayes] always goes the extra mile to help her classmates, students in other classes and the entire school community... including the faculty and staff."

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