Copper Hills High outstanding graduate: Serving ceaselesslyJun 17, 2021 03:18PM ● By Jet Burnham
Megan Astill has coordinated several service projects for the residents of Sunridge, such as making Christmas stockings. (Photo courtesy of Megan Astill.)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
When schools and businesses shut down in the spring of 2020, many people slowed down, but Megan Astill became busier than ever, spending her time serving others.
“If I see somewhere I can help, I don’t want to sit idly by and hope someone else will step up to and take the initiative for change,” she said. “I want to do everything I can to spread positivity and create unity within my community. I think service is the best way to do that.”
Astill looked around her and realized residents at nearby Sunridge Assisted Living and Memory Care would be lonely because visitors were not allowed. She started writing cards for them and invited her friends and the youth in her neighborhood to help. They prepared goodie bags for each of the 70 residents and decorated the windows of the building, something they’ve continued to do for holidays and seasons throughout this past year.
“I wanted to make sure these seniors in my community felt loved and remembered, giving them a reason to smile during these difficult times,” Astill said. “I would want someone to do the same if my grandparents were living there.”
CHHS Sterling Scholar Adviser Kyle Jensen is impressed with Astill’s determination to serve others.
“With all this great grit and understanding and hope, Megan single-handedly organized a drive to take care packages to people in a nursing home,” Jensen said. “She did it without being asked, without any encouragement from others, she just saw need, she had all this energy and skill and potential, and she just did it.”
Once school began, Astill continued to make sure the residents were not forgotten. She organized students in her floral design class to prepare potted spider plants with positive messages, FCCLA club members to sew and fill stockings, and National Honors Society members to make colorful Valentine’s Day cards, all of which were delivered to Sunridge residents.
“In true Megan fashion, she had the idea, organized the supplies, set up the dates and followed through with the service of her own accord,” FACS teacher Julie Gambles said. “She has a true love of service to friends, family and the community. She saw a need and made a difference.”
Astill documented over 100 hours of service to earn a service honor cord for graduation. This year at Copper Hills, she was named October’s Grizzly of the Month, a Heisman Hall of Fame Scholar, the Family and Consumer Sciences Sterling Scholar and the Female Student of the Year. She also received the Gail Miller Community Service Award.
Despite all her time spent serving others, Astill still managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA.
“One of the things that impresses me the most about Megan is how well-rounded she is,” Gambles said. “She wants to learn everything. She works hard at everything she does and does everything. She is self-motivated, hardworking, independent, articulate, generous, creative and kind.”
In addition to academically rigorous classes, Astill took classes to broaden her skills including intro to auto, floral design, sports medicine, foods, and marine biology.
“I value self-reliance and am now able to be more independent in basic car maintenance,” she said. “I am now able to confidently change tires, brakes, and oil.”
Astill has loved her high school experience at CHHS.
“Working hard in school and extracurricular activities [have] brought me a lot of satisfaction, happiness, and opportunities for the future,” she said. “Getting involved in clubs and creating relationships with faculty and fellow students has been so fun and meaningful. Here, I have learned to work hard and lose myself in service.”