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McLean Citizens Association Presents Teen Character Award at McLean Day

Published on 5/9/2023

Alex Abraham – Junior at McLean High School
Alex has volunteered at Share of McLean for several years. He helps stock the food pantry, delivers bread donations from Giant, provides support after major food drives, and assists during distribution days. His supervisor at Share wrote that Alex is always on time, proactive, enthusiastic and hard working. She often relies on him to lead new volunteers since he is an inspiring role model for other teens.

          Also, for the past two years, Alex has taken over responsibility for running an annual coat drive for the Virginia Hospital Center. He worked with local businesses (Dynamic Gymnastics and Vinson Hall) to advertise and run coat drives within those businesses, coordinated with Chesterbrook Elementary to reuse items that were never claimed via their lost and found, and arranged a neighborhood coat drive via advertising on a neighborhood list serve to collect coats and winter accessories Through his efforts this year, Alex was able to collect approximately 250 new and used coats for all ages, and over 150 winter accessories, for the hospital's pediatric unit.


Sebastian Herbolsheimer -Senior at Langley High School

            Last year Sebastian offered to join the McLean Volunteer Fire Department as a volunteer EMT but they had no vacancies. Instead, he was accepted by the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Sebastian has contributed an average of 66 hours a month. This Eagle Scout also serves as Junior Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 1916. His nominators note that these activities demonstrate caring, trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, respect, and citizenship.

Kasim Khapra – Sophomore at the Potomac School

            Kasim is founder/CEO of 501(c)(3) MyPy Coding, which aims to bring equitable access to a computer science education by removing all the barriers associated with it: cost, approachability, and accessibility.  MyPy accomplishes this by providing free, online 1-1 coding lessons to students in grades 2-8. Kasim’s initiative targets children from underprivileged backgrounds in Northern Virginia, DC, and beyond. MPC started during the pandemic, when a family friend asked Kasim to tutor her 4th grader how to code via Zoom.  Soon, he was teaching multiple students and recruited friends with coding skills to tutor.  Kasim developed a curriculum and methods to make coding approachable, rewarding, and fun. Most MyPy tutors are former students, which is encouraged as a way to “pay it forward” for this free experience.  For Kasim himself, it reflects his selflessness, generosity, and creativity.

Tatum King – Junior at McLean High School

            Tatum has volunteered for the last six years with the McLean Little League Challenger program, which provides an opportunity for children with special needs to play baseball. This year, she has served as Field Manager, the most significant role which can be performed by a teen. From 8-10 AM each Saturday during the Spring and Fall season, she explains how Challenger games will work for her 11-12 year old  group, what the buddies’ roles and responsibilities will be, and how buddies should keep special needs players safe. Then she is responsible for organizing players, ensuring special needs players are safe, and managing the game, i.e. calling players to the plate, ensuring buddies are staying on task, and handling other situations that come up on the field. The special needs students have an opportunity to play a sport that is only available to them because the special needs league exists.