Maggie Ollmann is the type of person who knows how to make others feel special.
The eighth-grade student at Weyauwega-Fremont Middle School is known for making signs to stick on the lockers of her peers.
When students could buy carnations on Valentine’s Day, Ollmann bought them for all of her friends.
“Maggie is an extraordinary volunteer for our school. She’s always that girl watching out for everybody and making everybody feel special,” said Kandi Martin, the school district’s pupil services and curriculum director.
Now, Ollmann has been honored for her volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama.
Presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honor young people throughout the United States for outstanding volunteer service.
Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and the District of Columbia.
President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered signifcant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.
Ollmann is the daughter of Peter Ollmann and Carolyn and Bruce Niemuth and was recognized for her service and awards on Friday, Feb. 28, during an award ceremony at the middle school.
“This is definitely an award that you earned and deserve,” W-F District Administrator Scott Bleck told her.
When Ollmann was in seventh grade, she founded a new club at the middle school.
It is the Dream Club, and the sole purpose of the club is to raise money for chemotherapy patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and for the Humane Society of Waupaca County.
Plans also call for the group to raise funds for Weyauwega Health Care Center.
The Dream Club is advised by middle school teacher Melinda Brace, and the club raises money through bake sales and other activities.
“I’ve been through a lot personally,” Ollmann said of her decision to start the club.
The Dream Club is open to all middle school students, and more than 20 students are involved in it.
“We meet once every couple months, more often when it comes closer to events,” Ollmann said.
This week, the club is sponsoring a bake sale called Puppy Chow for Puppy Chow to raise money to buy dog food for the Humane Society of Waupaca County.
Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates.
Four W-F staff members – Bleck, Brace, Martin and Middle/High School Principal Jeremy Schroeder – advocated for Ollmann on her behalf, showing how her contributions affect the school community and beyond.
Applications were judged at the state level, with volunteer activities judged on criteria which included personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.
“Maggie is such a good role model,” Schroeder said. “She is so open and outgoing. She loves every minute of every day and finds the good in everybody.”
When Ollmann learned she was being honored for her service, she was happy and surprised.
In addition to her involvement in the Dream Club, she has also been a member of the middle school student council for three years.
Martin said Ollmann is already being recruited for the high school student council.
When Ollmann moves to the high school next fall, she plans to keep the Dream Club as a middle school organization.
However, she wants to change the time the club meets from lunch to after school, so she can help advise it.
Ollmann, who enjoys working with children, wants to be a kindergarten teacher and encourages others to think about how they, too, can serve others.
“Do it because it makes you feel good, and it also makes others feel good,” she said.
Schroeder said they are proud of her, and Martin said, “You do so much for others. I’m glad you’re getting acknowledged for a moment.”
Ollmann said, “It makes me feel good and happy.”