I reached out to local youth leaders and asked if they had any students that truly stood out to be included in the ongoing Las Vegas Teen Spotlight series. It’s part of the Teen Career Tips focus happening through September on Vegas Kids Zone.
Leader in the Making
Jordan Sommaggio, youth development director for the YMCA of Southern Nevada, immediately came back with a rising star in his leadership group. He first met Zane Nute 9 years ago when both were fresh to the activities at the YMCA.
“He was the kindest young man, and also able to mold his personality to every group,” Sommaggio said. “He’s extraordinarily athletic and sometimes that comes with bravado, but he doesn’t have any of that. Zane is more invested in developing those around him. He is about working with a team, helping others to feel confident and developing their individual skills.”
Nute joined the teen program last year when he turned 13. He completes volunteerism tasks, fundraising for relay of life, works with foster kids among other.
“He would always be a leader in those projects,” Sommaggio said. “He’s very genuine, grounded and just a great kid.”
These traits have earned the young local teen recognition by the Las Vegas City Council for his volunteerism and leadership. He recently received the Sir George Williams award for Outstanding Teen.
How Volunteering Benefits All
Volunteering has been beneficial in more ways than he expected, Zane said. His desire to help others is largely due to the many counselors and teachers who have patiently helped him.
“I first started (at the YMCA) as a camper coming out of Kindergarten,” Zane said. “My brother had attended some years before. One of my friends was also attending camp the year I joined, so I was eager to go.”
He was given the opportunity to volunteer for summer camp in June. Zane was also in the Teen Connections Program in the fall and spring sessions.
“That gave me a preview of what volunteer work would look like,” said Zane, who hopes to be a sports journalist in the future. “(I like) helping teach the kids, especially in sports, and STEM, entertaining the kids, and having fun with the kids.”
Inspired to Help Others
He has spent hours assisting kids to develop skills and gain confidence, much of which he gained from his former counselors and now colleagues.
“What inspires me to volunteer is to pass down the things that I have learned through the years from my councilors, teachers and coaches onto the campers,” Zane said.
Advice for Las Vegas Teens
Teens who are considering volunteering should take it seriously. It can mean a lot in the moment as well as for your future.
“Follow the rules,” Zane said. “It is a job and needs to be treated like one.
And don’t be afraid to work with kids.
“Look at it as an opportunity to make an impact on another person’s life,” he said. “For as long as I can remember I have wanted to become a counselor. I have been inspired by some councilors I have had in my life as a camper at the YMCA, and even more this year as I got to work with some of them this summer.”
If you are considering volunteering, I’ve created a Volunteer Kit to help Las Vegas teens in their efforts. It has prompts to find out what type of volunteering they may be best suited for, what can help them in their career goals, a worksheet for keeping track of organizations and availability as well as a two-week timesheet to keep track of volunteer hours for college applications or other needs. It’s available in the Shop for FREE through the month of September.
Do you have something to say or inspire? We are highlighting high-achieving teens between the ages of 13-18 years old. Your inspiring story, actions of activism, handmade product, or service will help strengthen the Las Vegas teen community and inspire and comfort your peers, pre-teens, and parents.
Send your submission to Vegas Kids Zone! Simply write a few paragraphs about yourself, your accomplishments, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org withone or more pics and I will review them for publication. Must have parent consent and supply contact info for verification.
The goal of Vegas Kids Zone is to help parents homeschooling in Nevada and distance learners find good resources and community events. Let me know how I can help you in your homeschool or at-home school!