Oxford Area High School students Hannah Litwa and Jorge Zurita were honored as Oxford Rotary Club Seniors of the Month for December.
Hannah, daughter of Melanie and Kevin Litwa, told the Rotary members that growing up on a farm and being responsible for the care of horses and other animals from an early age helped to teach her selflessness and the importance of helping others whenever she can. She has tried to live that example throughout her years in Oxford’s schools.
Much of Hannah’s free time is spent volunteering at the Christian Life Center in New London, where for the past two-and-half years she has served as a youth minster. Each summer during her high school years she has been an instructor at the church’s Vacation Bible School, working with children ranging in age from pre-school to fourth grade. Hannah also volunteers on alternating Sundays at the church’s nursery program for children two years old and under.
This past summer Hannah was a full-scholarship participant in the week-long Constitution Academy in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Bill of Rights Institute. Students attended workshops by college professors and policy experts, met with members of Congress and government administrators, and visited several landmarks and museums.
In addition to her church service, Hannah is a member of the high school chapter of Future Farmers of America and the Helping Hands Community Service Club. She has helped raise funds for the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation.
Hannah recently earned early acceptance to her first college choice, Bucknell University, where she will enter the pre-med program and major in biology.
Jorge, son of Guillermina and Juan Zurita, is an inaugural member of the high school’s new Interact Club sponsored by the Oxford Rotary Club.
With other club members he attended this past fall’s Rotary District Conference, where Interact members from throughout the region prepared nutritious food packages which were delivered to schools in African that allow both boys and girls to attend.
Jorge is co-president of the Spanish Honor Society and member of the yearbook staff and Helping Hands. He is president of the high school’s Student Diversity Committee, which has worked to make Oxford Area High School a “No Place for Hate” school as designated by the Anti-Defamation League for four straight years.
Formed in 2009 to foster greater awareness of diversity and tolerance among the student body, the committee will host the first annual State Conference on Race on Jan. 18, when high school students from across Pennsylvania will come to Oxford to discuss issues of race, tolerance and diversity. Prior to the conference, committee members will hold a workshop on these issues for students at Penn's Grove Middle School.
Following graduation, Jorge would like to study political science and eventually pursue a legal career. His college choices include West Chester, Penn State and Temple universities.