February 16, 2013
I Care: Teen does little things to make a big difference

One by one women from many walks of life line up to receive a warm breakfast served with an even warmer smile at Wellspring Women's Center in Oak Park. "Do you want some eggs?" 14-year-old Isabella Powers asks. "How are you today?" she inquires with a sweet youthful eagerness that charms the guests.
Powers began volunteering here when she was 9. When she sees a problem she moves into action. She is starting a campaign at school to collect used forks, spoons and mugs for the center, which is running short. For her 10th birthday she asked for school supplies for the children at Wellspring. Seeing people's appreciation is her present, she says. "We're here to help others. You can't make this world a better place by just focusing on yourself. It's the ripple effect. You're making and impact, then other people do the same."

Isabella was in fourth grade when she first started volunteering at Wellspring in the kid's corner, where she would read to and play with children who would come with their mothers. Her father, Patrick Powers, has been volunteering for Wellspring for 20 years. He would attend meetings and Isabella would tag along with him and do homework during his meetings.
"She's gotten more mature," Powers said about his daughter. "She knows she can make a difference." Through bake sales and lemonade stands Isabella and her friends raised money for victims of the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Japan. For valentines day one year she gave out flourescent lightbulbs to her classmates to help save the environment.
"It doesn't have to be grandiose," Isabella said about her volunteering. "You can do something small. Little things count."
For Isabella all of these little things are adding up. For her efforts she will be the 2013 recipient of the Violet Richardson Award for Soroptomist International of Greater Sacramento. The award will be presented to her during a luncheon in March.

20130215_AOC_ICarePowers_051w.jpgCheerful and bright Isabella exudes confidence and openness to others. Volunteering has taught her well. She's seen people who come from less fortunate backgrounds than herself and she's become more grateful for what she has. "Not everybody's perfect," she says. "I feel more fortunate. I am more appreciative of my family than I would be."
A freshman at St. Francis High School she studies hard in advanced placement classes, participates in service and leadership activities and plays sports. She tries to get her classmates interested in volunteering as well. Most are too hesitant to join her.
Annie Hassid, the volunteer coordinator at Wellspring Women's Center loves to see young people volunteer. "She's a real sweet girl, super hard working," Hassid said. "She brings an extra spark in the volunteer program."

Do you know an extra special volunteer who should be profiled in the I Care column? Please send your suggestions to Autumn Payne at apayne@sacbee.com.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.