Abby Regacho, Co-Founder of Memorial High School’s Service Program Grandfriends, Named YR’s Youth of the Month
When 18-year old Abby Regacho moved to the United States five years ago from the Philippines, she quickly noticed the stark differences between life in the two countries.
“Going into high school, I was shocked how many different clubs and activities they offered. I never had as many opportunities in my schools in the Philippines,” said Abby. “In the Philippines, I witnessed so many disasters and so many people in need, but I never thought I could do much to help, because I was just a kid. I was already lucky to not be heavily affected by the issues there, and got even luckier to live the American dream here.”
Abby said noticing the contrast between her opportunities in the U.S. to those of her life in the Philippines, led her into a life of volunteerism: “I soon realized I have the opportunity to make a difference in my own way, little by little, to those in need,” she said.
The Memorial High School senior became involved with numerous service-based programs at her school, and went on to co-found Grandfriends, a service-oriented club that provides social opportunities for the elderly. Abby says she was first interested in the cause because her mother is a Physical Therapist at a nursing home. Their first few events took place there, but recently they expanded their reach to other locations, as well.
“Though Grandfriends may not be a very big club yet, I think that the little things we do for the elderly at these nursing homes make a big impact on them,” said Abby.
“Abby is a sweet, humble student who is motivated to be a problem solver for the most afflicted in our society. Abby sees service as a way to bring people together and empower others,” said Katie Haire, Abby’s school counselor and nominator.
Haire describes Abby’s dedication to service at Memorial High School: “Abby is involved in five different service organizations at our school: TEENPOWER, where she serves as a Youth Staff member for middle and high school students, Riley Dance Marathon, an organization that raises funds for Riley Children’s Hospital, Snowflake, an organization that promotes drug and alcohol free lifestyles, and International Club, a group that celebrates cultures from all over the world, and through her her service organization, Grandfriends.”
“Abby is passionate about providing empathy and support to fringe residents in our community, and co-founding Grandfiends a new way for students at our school to provide service to the community,” said Haire.
“Being named Youth of the Month is such an honor to me,” said Abby. “Youth Resources’ programs have positively impacted my life in so many ways. I have made irreplaceable memories and built loving relationships with many amazing people. It truly is a blessing to be a part of the YR family.”
Upon graduation, Abby hopes to study medicine.
“The Philippines is a great country: the culture, beliefs, and lifestyle are unique and inspiring,” said Abby. “However, it is also a country full of many adversities. Growing up there, I was used to seeing misfortunes such as typhoons, floods, poverty, and the lack of public health care. I know that these issues are not in my hands, but what I do is in my hands. By working in a medical field, I can make a difference one life at a time. I hope that one day, as a medical professional, I can help and serve those in need in my homeland, in the Philippines.”
Abby is an executive of Memorial’s Riley Dance Marathon and International Club, secretary of Snowflake and National Honor’s Society, Eucharistic minister at Good Shepherd Church, Tiger Ambassador, and a member of the lacrosse team. She is a on Youth Resources’ TEENPOWER Youth Staff and an active member of the Teen Advisory Council.
To nominate a student ages 5-18 for Youth of the Month, click here.