West Forsyth High School senior Ava Shearin has demonstrated a tremendous passion for helping her community throughout her middle and high school careers. Having been involved in Key Club and Crosby Scholars, she has mastered the art of balancing a prolific academic and philanthropic workload with her social life.
Through Crosby Scholars, Ava was involved with the Salvation Army. She spent hours sorting food, packing boxes, and making lunches to distribute to those in need. Crosby Scholars Community Partnership aids middle school and high school students throughout Forsyth County in preparing for college, and guides students in the direction best suited to fit their skills and capabilities. Crosby Scholars has helped over 11,000 middle and high school students with their post-high school paths through offering students community service opportunities, financial aid, college campus visits, and scholarships. As a participant since middle school, Ava attributes much of her volunteer experience to opportunities provided to her through the program, which helped instill in her a desire to serve others and her community.
Outside of clubs and programs in her high school, Ava is also an active member of New Philadelphia Moravian Church in Winston-Salem. For years, Ava has been leading youth while serving as a Vacation Bible School teacher. With her church, she was given the incredible opportunity to embark on a mission trip in 2019 to the native village of Kongiganak, a tiny town with a population of less than 450 people sitting in southwestern Alaska along the Kongiganak River. Due to the isolated nature and geographical position of the town, residents have limited energy and financial resources. The goal of Ava’s week-long church mission trip to Kongiganak was to connect with the town’s residents and introduce them to the Christian faith. During her stay, she and her fellow church members spent time leading Vacation Bible School programs, playing games with the town’s children, and enjoying getting to know Kongiganak’s unique culture.
What Ava found most touching about her time in Kongiganak was how the trip broadened her horizons and exposed her to an entirely different way of living. Far from five-star accommodations, Ava spent days with minimal luxuries in a town surrounded by wind turbines and the Alaskan wilderness. It was hard for Ava and others to fathom how the village’s residents had no idea of what existed outside of their small village, making the experience one that she will remember for a lifetime.
Ava has also been an avid member of YMCA’s Youth & Government program, and was a dancer until she started high school, when she suffered knee injuries preventing her from continuing to dance. At age seven, she began taking guitar lessons after her brother began taking them. Now, she is a guitar teacher herself, and considers playing the guitar one of her best mood-lifters and stress-relievers.
After high school, Ava hopes to attend a university, although she has her eye on quite a few schools that she would like to attend. With her entire adult life ahead of her, Ava is still on the fence about her major, but is leaning heavily towards political science, since history and law are currently her favorite school subjects.
Outside of the time she spends volunteering, studying, and playing guitar, Ava enjoys browsing the many stores in Hanes Mall and Thruway Shopping Center, in addition to a good shopping session at thrift stores throughout the Triad. Her favorite local spot to refuel after a Saturday spent shopping is T.J. ‘s Deli & Grill on Country Club Road, where she swears by the deli’s classic chicken tenders and French fries.
As Ava graduates high school and continues her academic career into college, it is no secret that she will continue making strides to serve others and give back to her community.