A college student from Juneau will have his community service recognized this month in Anchorage.
Bergen Davis, a freshman marketing student at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma, was selected to receive a Spirit of Youth Humanitarian award, which recognizes young people who have put effort into making their community a better place or are active in local or state government.
“I was actually pretty surprised when I got it,” Davis said when reached by phone. “At first, I wasn’t aware that I was nominated for this. It was a pretty big shock, actually.”
Davis said he found out he won about two weeks ago via email.
He said the award nomination followed his recognition in the Alaska Communications Summer Heroes program and similarly is recognizing his contributions to the Glory Hall, Juneau’s homeless shelter.
Davis, who was home schooled in Juneau, was selected for his commitment to charity and consistently donating to under-served members of the community, according to a Spirit of Youth press release. Davis consistently used 20 percent of his high school pay checks to purchase produce for the Glory Hall.
“I would call them up first, and they’d tell me what they need,” Davis said. “I thought since a lot of times people there have to eat canned things, they might like some fresh stuff.”
As a teen in Juneau, Davis worked at Valley Lumber & Building Supply, which he said his grandparents own. After turning 16, he began lifeguarding at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center.
The charitable endeavors were related to his Christian faith, Davis said.
“I was always taught to tithe growing up — giving 10 percent of anything I earned,” Davis said. “I wanted to do something where I was more personally able to see the impact.”
Davis said he began making the donations around age 13, and they became more consistent after he turned 16 and could drive himself from his valley residence to the Glory Hall.
The Spirit of Youth Awards, now in their 21st year, highlight dedicated young people and unsung heroes from around Alaska. Recipients were chosen by the Spirit of Youth Teen Advisory Council.
Spirit of Youth is a statewide organization that promotes youth development and increase resiliency and connectedness in Alaska’s youth.
The Spirit of Youth Awards take place Saturday, March 30 at the Anchorage Downtown Marriott.
Davis said he’s not totally sure he will be able to make it to the ceremony, but things are tentatively looking good.
“It’s a Saturday, so we’re looking at different things,” Davis said. “I think I’ll be able to make it.”
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.