Gila Ridge HS senior turns volunteer work into scholarships

Gila Ridge HS senior turns volunteer work into scholarships

YUMA, AZ - Gila Ridge High School Senior Elijah Humphrey volunteers at the Discovery Club After-School Program at Sunrise Elementary.

"I just have fun doing it, you know.  For most people, [they say] I got to work or it's a job that I don't want to really do anything," says Elijah.  "But me, that is my fun."

Humphrey also volunteers his time coaching an Odyssey of the Mind team in Yuma.  He's also created "Project Elijah."

"Taking recycled cans, aluminum, things like that and taking them to the Yuma Recycling Department.  And then from there, they give us money and then...we then donate to several charities like we donate to Odyssey of the Mind, we donate to the Breast Cancer Society, the Veterans of America, things like that."    

Elijah's friend, Ryan Hadlock, is Vice-President of Project Elijah.

"I was on-board with it because it seemed like a good idea to, you know, get cans from people and get some money and give it to charity," says Hadlock.

Meryl Humphrey says her son's giving nature started young.  She's also a teacher at Discovery Club.

"We got involved with foster care many, many years ago and I think it comes from him constantly seeing children come in and out of our home," says Meryl.  "So he's just a giving, caring, loving boy because he's seen so many children with so much tragedy in their lives, that he just wants to help."

And Elijah's high G.P.A. and years of volunteer works are paying off.

"Well, right now, I'm a Qwest/Sprint finalist, I'm a Coca Cola Scholarship finalist.  I'm waiting on the Gates Millenium Scholarship and I won the Kohl's Cares Scholarship," says Elijah.  "And together, all the scholarships combined are about $20,000-25,000 (excluding Gates).

Elijah says he'll hear if he gets the Gates Scholarship sometime this week.

"If I get the Gates Millenium, that will cover all my tuition for the next four years, whatever university I choose to go to," says Elijah.

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