My rule: Seek out expertise.
So when I questioned Camille Nelson, Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation volunteer coordinator, about any amazing volunteers in our midst, she enthusiastically offered the name of Jack Langston.
She has reason to be proud because 18-year-old Langston, of Carmel, is this year’s Indiana Parks and Recreation Association Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, an honor he has worked hard to achieve.
Nelson said, “The first time I met him as a volunteer for Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation, I knew he would be good. I could see his leadership ability and especially his desire to serve. I have never seen anyone like him.”
Langston also is president of the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council. The council, according to Langston, has three key objectives, with the first being, “Provide the best youth volunteer force Carmel has ever seen.”
So he rallied the youth council’s members to approach Carmel Clay Parks to provide elementary students help with their homework during the Extended School Enrichment Program.
After Langston’s involvement and an army of youth council volunteers, the effect was measurable, impressive and award-worthy. The program is now receiving almost triple the number of volunteer hours it had in previous months and the true winners are Carmel’s elementary school children.
Langston is quick to share the credit and deflect the attention toward others.
He said, “I have mixed feelings about the award. Of course it is an honor to be recognized, but everything I do is a team effort. I think this award is really a validation of the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council rather than me. I just happen to be its president.”
Langston’s fingerprints are on various other events and activities around Carmel. He has been instrumental in the Tour de Carmel, Family Pool Challenge, Luminary Walk, High School Fall Festival, Music on Main Street and High School Night in the Carmel Arts & Design District.
Next spring, Langston will be off to Indiana University as a Wells Scholar. He graduated from Carmel High School early in order to have a semester and the summer to get a feel for the business world. He is considering his future as an entrepreneur but he clearly has already succeeded as a leader.
Langston will leave behind a strong legacy that others will be able to build upon.
Another sign of Carmeltude: good deeds from people in Carmel.