Our Person of the Week was named Youth Volunteer of the Year
Loyola High School is determined to make a difference in the lives of young men from the city of Detroit.
“In the city of Detroit, youth are plagued with a lot of challenges just living here,” Loyola teacher Kathryn Gross told Detroit 2020.
Travis McClendon is determined to give back. “I take service very seriously,” McClendon said.
Travis is a 16 year-old junior at Loyola, and in the last year, he has volunteered hundreds of hours for dozens of causes.
“We shouldn’t just look out for ourselves. We should help the others that are less fortunate than us. They need our help,” McClendon told Detroit 2020.
Born without forearms, Travis’s determination to get the job done has served as inspiration to his classmates…and motivation to himself to do even more.
“I don’t let my physical disability get in the way of anything. I look past it,” Travis said.
“Things that people take for granted, takes more effort, but you’d never know it because to him it’s second nature. He just does what’s expected, and never has complained or asked for anything extra,” Gross said.
While Travis has never asked for anything extra, he was given some extra encouragement by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, when he was named Youth Volunteer of the Year.
“I just do it because it’s the right thing to do. If I was in a situation where I couldn’t have anything to eat, or anything to wear, I’ll want people to help me,” McClendon told Detroit 2002.
Providing comfort to the homeless, repairing homes at the Pine Ridge Reservation, writing letters to veterans and planting community gardens…for Travis, there has been only one motivation. “Someone does still care about them…they’re not alone,” he said.
And the teachers and students at Loyola know the engine behind all that effort. “It’s his heart. He has such a good heart,” Gross aid.