Senior pursuing Uncommon Scholar Award with local project

A passion for volunteering and soccer has led senior Sydney Herzmann to begin a $67,000 project of her own. 

This project is called “Mission Playground.” Herzmann submitted her project to the Herbert Hoover Foundation Uncommon Student Award with encouragement from her father who is a part of the program. 

Mission Playground is a $67,000 playground that Herzmann is going to be placing in the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex.  Her love for soccer made the decision clear on what her project should be. 

Herzmann said, “I hope to encourage children to spend more time outside and to alleviate pressure on parents at the soccer fields to watch all their children at once.” 

Herzmann has hopes that the playground will be up by the end of summer 2022. She wants to see an impact on the community year round. She said, “I hope that people can utilize the playground throughout the fall, spring and summer and experience life without a screen for the time being.”

The Hoover Uncommon Scholar program looks for juniors in high school who are “motivated and community minded.” They go through a questionnaire to demonstrate their project’s impact. With questions like, “Why do you want to do it?” and “How are you going to do it?,” the Herbert Hoover Foundation is aiming for honoring projects that are completely student driven. 

The students doing the projects are in charge of the project as a whole. Herzmann is currently raising money to order playground equipment and get it placed on the grounds she will supply. Herzmann has been raising money by looking for grants, asking friends and family, also on a gofundme. Once she has raised enough money, she will contact the equipment company, and they will deliver and put it together on the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex. 

The students who are picked as finalists in May receive a $1,500 award at the end of summer. As the program continues, four of the finalists will receive an additional $10,000 scholarship on Oct. 23 when they have to do a presentation on their project and show the people in the program that it is continuing. 

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