Recent grad making a difference
HUNTINGTON -- Humbled and amazed are two words Tiffani Webb uses to describe how she feels about all the local, state and national accolades she has received in the past two years.
The latest award received by the 2013 Cabell Midland High School graduate was the Jefferson Award, a national recognition that honors community and public service in America.
For Webb, it's never been about taking credit. It's simply been about lending a hand.
"I wasn't expecting achievement awards; it wasn't my goal," Webb said last week before leaving for Washington, D.C., to receive the Jefferson Award. "It's something I never expected would come to this. It's something I was doing to please others. I'm getting rewarded and I don't think that should happen."
For Webb, service has been second nature for a long time. It started in elementary school by helping raise funds for a bullet-proof vest for local police. When she was 13, she was inspired to spend her own money on a monthly sponsorship of a child through the Christian organization World Vision, a practice she continues today.
Through her church, Milton Baptist, Webb also volunteered at Harris Riverfront Park on Saturday mornings to feed and provide items for homeless adults and families.
She received the Girl Scout Silver Award for that effort, but Webb prefers to discuss how that river experience led to other giving opportunities.
"Instead of just helping at the river, we helped the organizations that provided those (basic necessities)," Webb said.
For more than a year, Webb organized monthly collection sites for such organizations as Dress for Success River Cities, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter, Eastern Cabell County Humanity Organization and the Huntington City Mission. At the same time, she worked working to communicate the need throughout the Tri-State through local media, her church and school.
"She has meant a lot to our organization," said Christina Ward, executive director of Dress for Success River Cities. "She helped organize our clothing drive and was one of our only teenage volunteers. She's a true supporter of our mission and everything we do."
Webb, the daughter of Marvin and Lisa Legg, went on to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award for her volunteer efforts at River Park Hospital in Huntington. She helped collect more than 2,000 books, six gaming systems, 359 movies and 129 games for the pediatric patients there.
At her church, she continues to help with a backpack program for children in need of hygiene items and ready-to-eat snacks and meals.
"Volunteering is not just about getting out your checkbook and giving money; it is about giving your time to help others," Webb wrote for one of her award biographies. "The opportunities are endless on how you can make a difference in someone else's life."
Webb is now preparing to attend Marshall University, where she'll major in athletic training and will work in the equipment and training program. Her career goal is to become a doctor specializing in sports medicine and physical therapy.
She said she'll likely become involved in campus outreach programs to continue serving the community. She also hopes the work she's started will be continued by younger Girl Scouts or other high school students who desire to help.
"I don't care how young or little you are, you make a difference in somebody's life," Webb said. "It can as little as giving a tissue to somebody crying or buying a lunch. You have to believe in yourself that you can make the change."
Tiffani Webb's local, state and national recognitions include:
Recipient of the Jefferson Award (public service); Distinguished Finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community program; chosen to attend Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Advanced Leadership Academy; an d recognition from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller, Rep. Nick J. Rahall, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, W.Va. Sen. Robert Plymale, former Speaker of the House Rick Thompson and Delegate Carol Miller.
Webb also received the Gold Level Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2008 through 2012, compiling more than 1,900 hours.
Webb also has served as a Cabell Huntington Hospital Volunteer since 2006, a hospice volunteer in 2009, and Christian Motorcycle Association Homeless Mission volunteer since 2008.
A Gold Award member of Girl Scout Troop Troop 2179 in Milton, she was named the 2012-2013 Veterans of Foreign Wars State of West Virginia Scout of the Year. Webb was sponsored by Milton VFW Post 9796.
She also has received numerous scholarships, including the A. Michael Perry Scholarship through Marshall University; Best Buy Scholarship Program; Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing Scholarship Foundation; AXA Achievement Community Scholarship; KEMBA Charleston Federal Credit Union, National Consortium for Health Science Education; Barboursville Rotary and Lions clubs; and West Virginia VFW.
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