A budding basketball star finds a chance to shine in another arena
Tre’ Scott, 16
The Dunham School
Volunteer, HOPE Ministries
As a guard on his high-school basketball team, Tre’ Scott is used to hearing cheering crowds and seeing his name in newspaper box scores. But the 16-year-old Dunham School sophomore is also earning a very different kind of recognition far from the court.
For three years, Tre’ has quietly spent his school breaks and summer vacations helping the disadvantaged clients of HOPE Ministries’ food pantry. No job is too small for the energetic teen, who helps these often elderly or disabled individuals select foods at the supermarket-style facility, pushes loaded baskets to their cars, and works to keep things neat.
“Working in the pantry isn’t glamorous, for sure, and is sometimes pretty hard physical labor—usually too hot or cold, and definitely not the kind of things most teenagers look forward to doing when they have a chance to sleep in and catch up on screen time,” says Kelli Rogers, director of volunteer services at HOPE Ministries. “But Tre’ always has a kind word and a quick smile for the clients, volunteers and staff alike.”
Tre’ says his first real taste of helping the less fortunate came during middle school, when he was part of a group that collected supplies for and visited homeless shelters. But when he tagged along with his mother LaJuna, a longtime HOPE Ministries volunteer who helps to register new clients, he was inspired to make giving back a regular commitment. “I really liked the feeling of helping people out,” he recalls. “And it’s amazing what HOPE Ministries does to help the less privileged.”
Tre’ says he especially enjoys his encounters with older clients. “You can learn things from them about life,” he says. “I think as teenagers, it’s really our responsibility to help elderly people.”
His selfless attitude doesn’t go unnoticed by HOPE’s staff and clients. “It’s hectic here on pantry days, but I’ve never heard him complain about any task he’s been asked to do,” says Rogers, who adds that he is always patient and polite to those he serves, “taking time to listen when they talk and making sure that their experience with us is a positive and dignified one.”
Tre’ says he gains as much from his volunteer experiences as the people HOPE Ministries serves. “I love seeing the people and how grateful they are for what they receive at HOPE,” he says. “It helps me to realize how fortunate I really am.”
The thing that excites me most about my charitable work is the smiles on clients’ faces.
If I could wave a magic wand and change the world, I would give shelter to all.
I wish other kids realized that it’s our duty to help.
If I could have any career, I would be an engineer.
My greatest strength is people skills.