Indian Head Park student honored by Greater La Grange YMCA
Alexandra Daemicke of Indian Head Park, a freshman at Loyola University in Chicago, recently received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Greater La Grange YMCA. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Family: mom, Francine and dad, Ken
Sports at LT: Cross country and soccer
Other LT activities: Greek Club, Peer Leadership, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society
Hobbies: Running, cooking
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:13AM
INDIAN HEAD PARK — Alexandra Daemicke, a 2012 graduate of Lyons Township High School, recently was named Volunteer of the Year by the Greater La Grange YMCA. Daemicke, now a freshman at Loyola University, was recognized for helping with summer day camps in 2011 and 2012.
Q. What was your reaction to winning the award?
A. Definitely, I was very surprised, because I know so many people work hard year-round to have the Y grow. I was very happy to be able to come home and attend the ceremony on a Tuesday night. It was very nicely put together. I’m very grateful.
Q. Why did you want to volunteer at the YMCA?
A. I love working with younger children, and it was nice way to get volunteer service hours. After I’d go running from about 6:30 a.m. for the summer running program with school, I’d get out by between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and go to camp until 11:30 a.m. My mornings were pretty packed, but I had the afternoon to recover.
Q. What age group have you worked with?
A. The 3- to 7-year-olds. They’re so pure. They don’t have the attitude of a teenager, yet they have a very good sense of humor. They constantly keep you on your toes and entertained. They make me happy because they come with great attitude every day and nothing gets them down.
Q. How has that experience influenced your future plans?
A. I want to be a pediatric occupational therapist. Initially, I thought about pharmacy or physical therapy. Then I learned about occupational therapy. I like working with body movements.
Q. What course of study is required?
A. I’m majoring in psychology at Loyola. I’m finding it very interesting and a good major to pair with pediatric occupational therapy, to know the underlying cognitive working of that age group. A lot of others major in biology so this is a good way to set my self apart.
Then there’s a two-year graduate program. You have to do observational hours and volunteer hours.
Q. What do you like about Loyola?
A. It’s a beautiful campus. I run along the lake; it’s a pretty nice path. I’m on a competitive running team.
And Loyola is close to home. We’re a very close family. I view my parents as my best friends. It’s nice to be close to home so a don’t miss a lot, like my grandma’s 90th birthday.
Q. What are your plans for the summer?
A. I’m coming back to help at the camp and I also plan to volunteer at Helping Hand, which serves kids and adults with developmental disabilities.