When I applied for the Ryan Nece Foundation’s Student Service Program, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had found the application through a mutual friend that was also applying and we both happened to be in the same 2018 SSP Class.

I would never think that one day some of the students within my class would turn out to be some of the most important people in my life.

At my high school, I struggled to find peers with the same interests as me. From an early age, I was passionate about leadership, service, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Through the Student Service Program, I was able to find other like-minded individuals with similar passions and goals. I could tell that the students I was surrounded by, genuinely wanted to create positive change while establishing meaningful connections with others. I found that after every meeting or service event I would leave with a smile on my face because the people I was with made everything so enjoyable.

Just when I thought I would never find kids like myself, I found the Ryan Nece Foundation. The Student Service Program provided me with a network of students within the Tampa Bay area that wanted to champion me throughout all my endeavors. From one person in my class, I would meet five new friends outside the program and then the process would repeat itself. It was through this program that I was able to develop relationships with the people I now call my best friends and for that I am forever grateful for this organization and what it stands for.