Carlos Dillard

Carlos Dillard, Jr., a senior at Lincoln-Way East, recently received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes individual volunteers “to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community service in the State of Illinois.” 

“Receiving this award made me feel seen and appreciated,” said Carlos. “I know that the work I am doing hasn’t gone unnoticed, and it really matters to our community.” 

Most of his volunteer work has been through Jack and Jill of America, an organization for Black youth that provides service project opportunities to youth across the nation to create “a medium of contact for children to stimulate their growth and development,” according to their website. 

Carlos served as the Regional Teen Foundation Chair last year and is currently the Regional Teen President, organizing events, fundraisers and workshops for youth for a total of more than 500 community service hours across many projects. Those projects include raising $30,000 for scholarships for local Black college students, preparing over 100,000 meals at Feed My Starving Children, and organizing a toiletry drive for people in need. 

“I know what it feels like to not be included,” said Carlos. "Through my work with Jack and Jill of America, I can bring my peers together to work toward making an impact in our community and ensuring everyone feels included.” 

Carlos is also a member of the BSU and Griffin Crew at East, and he says what he will miss most about high school is seeing his school friends every day. He recently accepted admission to Delaware State University and plans to major in political science.