ShareThis Page

Shaler junior earns 2013 National Globechanger award

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:48 p.m.
Pine Creek Journal
Alexis Werner, second from the left, poses with Jim McDonald, of BNY Mellon, Sam Beard, founder of Jefferson Awards for Public Service and Dana Resciniti, the regional director for the Jefferson Awards program, at the annual awards presentation. Werner, a junior at Shaler Area High School, is one of this year’s winners of the national Globechanger award for her Seeds of Hope program. Submitted

Alexis Werner, a junior at Shaler Area High School, will join an elite group of young people recognized for making a difference in the world.

On Wednesday, March 6, Werner will be presented with the 2013 National Globechanger award for her work with Seeds of Hope, a student-led organization she co-founded to raise awareness of issues veterans face upon returning home.

“I'm still trying to comprehend it,” Werner said about receiving the award. “There's no other way to explain it. There are so many great teenagers doing so many great things, to be at the top is amazing because I'm nowhere close to where I want to be.”

Werner is one of three young people being presented with the award, sponsored by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, founded in 1972 to recognize community service, and the only high school student.

“We are looking for kids who are making a difference and what they are doing jumps off the page,” said Diana Sherbacow, national director of the Jefferson Awards. “Globechangers is really about young people who have an idea and take that idea and take it regionally, nationally or globally.”

Werner helped to start Seeds of Hope in 2011 to create “victory gardens” to benefit veterans and their families with fresh produce. Werner was inspired to reach out to the veteran community after seeing her mother's and stepfather's experiences returning from the Air Force Reserves and active Army duty, respectively.

“It's not always easy coming home,” Werner said. “It's not like you see in the movies.”

Since the program started, it has expanded to create more awareness for veterans' issues. The organization is working to publish a children's book, organize fundraising events and create a documentary of veterans' stories.

Werner and the Seeds of Hope program has garnered regional attention and awards since it started, but this is the first time the program will be honored on the national level.

“She has done such a tremendous job, she has come up through the ranks in our students initiatives,” said Dana Resciniti, regional director of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. “She is the perfect example of how our student initiatives work … and what one student is able to accomplish.”

Werner said she hopes the Globechanger award only will propel the program forward toward her goal of taking Seeds of Hope national.

“I want it to be a national program,” she said. “I want it to be in as many states as want us.”

Werner will be recognized and receive a Globechangers award medallion at an awards ceremony held at The Pierre Hotel, in New York City.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.