A student at Colman-Egan recently has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his outstanding volunteer service throughout the community.
Carter Schmidt, a junior at Colman-Egan High School, received the award for the dozens of hours each week he spends helping at the school and in the community.
Principal Scott Hemmer said Schmidt is also very active in the St. Peter Catholic Church in Colman, volunteering to read at church during weekend masses.
Most notably, for the last three years, Schmidt has done the announcing at Colman-Egan’s home sporting events.
“He’s willing to work with anyone who needs to run the sound system,” Hemmer said. “If a group comes in for an activity, he’s here to show them how to operate it.”
Schmidt also puts together a broadcast each week, called Colman-Egan Sports Center, highlighting the school’s sports activities for that week, for which he finds video, writes a script, records and edits footage before uploading onto the Colman-Egan School District website and YouTube channel.
He said he started getting into broadcasting in the sixth grade when he started doing camera work and live streams for basketball games. Later in middle school, Schmidt began working with the scoreboards.
After giving announcing a try during a volleyball game, he was asked to do it again and has continued since he was a freshman. Currently, Schmidt announces football, volleyball and basketball games for the school.
Additionally, he has been involved in and volunteering time to attend the EmPOWER Youth Leadership Program through Sioux Valley Energy.
This program for high school sophomores and juniors provides a comprehensive understanding of cooperatives and helps students develop leadership skills. Em-POWER also allows its students to explore career opportunities and network with other students and business leaders.
Schmidt learned at the end of February that he received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.
The award was granted by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
“It was actually really surprising,” Schmidt said. “I applied for a different award. I didn’t get that. A couple weeks later Mr. Hemmer brought me into his office and told me I won this award.”
Schmidt initially applied for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with National Association of Secondary School Principals, which recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service and awards $1,000, a silver medallion and all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. for national recognition to all honorees.
Though he didn’t receive that award, Schmidt qualified for the President’s Volunteer Service Award based on his application and through the amount of service hours he completed in a 12-month period. He received certificates from both Prudential Financial as well as the office of former President Barrack Obama.
Last summer, Schmidt attended KSFY Media Camp in Sioux Falls to expand his knowledge and skills in broadcasting.
“When I got to this year, I was completely comfortable with [announcing],” Schmidt said of what he learned and the confidence he gained from the camp.
He still shadows at KSFY every week. The company has even let him record a few episodes of Colman-Egan Sports Center at their studio.
“We know that Carter volunteers dozens of hours each week,” Hemmer said. “ … He’s always willing to help. He’s also willing to teach people how to do things. It’s nice to have him around. He’s always upbeat and willing to take on any challenge.”
When Schmidt graduates high school in 2018 he would like to go into the field of broadcasting.