When you look at this photo, what do you see? Half of a young face peeking out of a hood shovel in hand as his parent tells him to look toward the camera. He is wearing a sweet smile as he goes about his business. You see, this is Jeremy Garriga and that is not his family’s pathway he is shoveling. It’s his elderly neighbor’s. And while that is something special in and of itself, there is much more behind that sweet smile.
Jeremy is the founder of Soxcess, and annual sock drive and family initiative advocating for the homeless, less fortunate, those afflicted with breast cancer and the mentally ill in Hudson County. My Fox Detroit reported that Jeremy donated close to 2,800 pairs of socks and other winter basics this past holiday season at the Project Homeless Connect, the Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation in Union City, The York Street Project, St. Lucy’s Shelter and The Jersey City Peace Movement in Journal Square. Jeremy was even awarded a $500 grant from Youth Service America for Soxcess and Radio Disney’s Grant Award. In addition, DoSomething.org named Jeremy a 2013 Seed Grant Winner because of his endeavor.
But that’s not the only amazing thing about this particular snow shoveller. Jeremy is a member of The First Tee of Metropolitan NY, a golf program with over 5,000 participants, which teaches young players life skills through the game of golf. Jeremy was named as their Outstanding Male Participant and awarded a scholarship at the NY Athletic Club. Back in April of 2013, Jeremy joined 400 national scholarship winners who, like him exemplify academic achievement and humanitarian work and were recognized by the Carson Scholar’s Fund. Then in September, Jeremy went to Atlanta where he was awarded a $5,000 scholarship and named The First Tee Coca-Cola America’s Future finalist. Because of this and his other successes at The First Tee, the We Are Family Foundation/ 3 Dot Dash announced that Jeremy was 1 of 30 international teen leaders chosen to be part of a weeklong Peace Summit in New York City in April of this year. The coalition consists of teens from 11 countries, all whose individual service projects are “improving the world and impacting the lives of many” and Jeremy will represent the United States and Hudson County Schools of Technology.
Did we mention that Jeremy has also raised $2,500 for Strides Against Breast Cancer, volunteers at the Jersey City Police Department, delivers Thanksgiving meals to seniors including helping us deliver 500 meals this past Thanksgiving, is a cast character at the Halloween Fun House held in the Hudson Mall and still manages to find time to get great grades, be Chapter President of The National Honor Society and work toward his ultimate career goal as a neurosurgeon?
Jeremy is a youth on the rise to fulfilling his own personal dreams with his dedication to help others and volunteerism. We are proud that Jeremy is one of our Youth honorees at our 1st Gala this coming summer.
And this is the same person in this photo. This person, this youth still finds the time in his busy schedule to shovel his elderly neighbor’s driveway. Doing good starts somewhere, why not start by helping those who can’t help themselves and see where it takes you?
By Melanie Breault, PR Coordinator at AngelaCARES, Inc.