by Charlene Macaulay, Star Weekly
Philanthropist is not a word normally used to describe many 17-year-old girls but, for Sarah Baarini, the term is a perfect fit.
Recognising her extensive fundraising work, the Point Cook resident was recently presented with Wyndham council’s mayoral youth award for community service, volunteering and leadership.
Sarah, who is studying year 11 at the Australian International Academy at Coburg, has organised several fundraisers within her school community, and donated more than $6000 for the Sids and Kids, Kidney Health Australia, Leukaemia Foundation and Islamic Relief Australia.
“I just want to try and help people, and raise awareness for different things,” she said. “I ran a fundraiser for kidney health because my grandmother died of kidney disease.
“We had a sausage sizzle and bake sale and raised more than $1500.”
Sarah said she was shocked to win the mayoral youth award, primarily because she didn’t realise she had been nominated.
Her proud mother, Melinda, submitted the nomination form, and the first Sarah learned of it was when she received a letter saying she had been successful.
After getting over the initial shock, Sarah said she felt honoured. She plans to use the $500 prizemoney to organise more fundraisers.
“I got the letter saying I was getting an award and a cheque, and I thought, what is this for?”
Sarah, who is considering a career as a lawyer or forensic scientist once she graduates next year, said she was lucky to have the support of many people, including her parents and school teachers.