Service Above Self Winner


Sophie Lindwall, Staff Reporter

Rahel Nshimirimana, ‘18, received  the Service Above Self Award at the Rotary of Cedar Rapids award ceremony held in honor of MLK Day. The Service Above Self Award is given to students who go above and beyond to show their commitment to the community by volunteering and helping others.

“When I heard that she was receiving this award, I was more than happy for her. I couldn’t think of any reason why she didn’t deserve it,” said Carrington Moore, ‘18.

Nshimirimana has volunteered around the community in numerous ways. She helped to start off the McKinley Marching Band and direct  Washington’s color guard, as well as help with ELL and homecoming attire and various other things around the school.

“I have countless times seen her trying to find ways to serve people in our building, so I really just thought about her and her desire to serve,” said Darius Ballard.

Ballard is a part of the committee that chooses a Washington High School student annually to receive the “Service Above Self” award.

“ The week of homecoming we had a brand new group of ELL students. Rahel took an active role to being a peer to those students,” said Ballard.

The administration noticed her work and she was asked to write a speech for the Rotary event where she was to receive the award on MLK Day.

“I was also asked if I could choose a non profit organization in which proceeds from Rotary would be donated in my name,” said Nshimirimana. The organization she chose was ASAC (Area Substance Abuse Council) which provides accessible substance abuse services.

My speech went pretty well and I got to meet great people from the community. Even though I’m not a great public speaker, a lot of people said they loved my speech,” said Nshimirimana.

Along with Nshimirimana, seven other students from the area received the Service Above Self Award.

“I know for sure that Rahel deserves this a lot-  that has always been her mindset and her attitude,” said Sydney Wakeham, ‘19.