Amber Wright is known as a leader. Her resume is peppered with her leadership and organizational skills for such things as captain of the debate team, National Honor Society’s director of community service, Key Club, and co-editor of the school paper.
At Palmer Ridge High School, one of her proudest community service moments was organizing the school’s blood drive in the fall.
The first blood drive Amber led was in March of her junior year. She worked with two other juniors to coordinate the blood drive, and took the lead. They had to put the entire thing together in under two weeks because communication issues delayed planning. The initial goal was to collect 33 units of blood, and they collected 45. It was the most successful blood drive to date at her high school. Amber put more than 50 hours into planning and volunteering at the blood drive.
Wright was the sole leader of the blood drive in October of her senior year. She had a week and a half to plan it and did all of the preparations: coordinating with Vitalant, facilitating donor signup, recruiting volunteers, advertising around the school and on social media, and sending out information and reminders to donors. The initial goal was to again collect 33 units, but this time they reached 51 units.
During the final blood drive the main goal was to show juniors the system Amber had developed so that future blood drives could be just as or more successful. Wright took on four juniors and showed them the ropes. Wright is sure they’ll do amazing next year.
Sarah Obarski, who had been a donor recruitment representative for Vitalant blood bank before her death in February, had written a recommendation letter for Wright outlining her accomplishments. She wrote that she had worked for various corporations, military installations and schools, but the Palmer Ridge events were among the best organized she had encountered.
“I have yet to work with a high school student whose natural leadership skills and determination for excellence are equivocal,” Obarski wrote.
Outside of school, Wright has helped elementary students with team-building games at High Trails Outdoor Education Center. She has been a house sitter and pet sitter. She has also volunteered with Colorado Springs Teen Court. Wright has been a co-leader with Sons of Rachel, a kindness club. All of this has been a valuable learning experience, she said.
Through her school clubs, she has organized and volunteered at the local public gardens; helped with elementary school math nights; worked at a food bank packing snacks for low-income students; helped clean up after community celebrations; and planted trees for a nonprofit group.
“I love being able to have a tangible positive impact on my community and those around me.” She said that community service success comes not only from being organized, but being supportive, empathetic and kind.
Wright sees a legal career as a logical choice. She likes to research topics and speak to large groups. She was the school’s debate team captain and has worked in communications.
“Law is a great way to help others,” she said. The profession could meld with her wide-ranging interests in international relations, environmental policy, global politics, environmental sustainability, communications. Eventually she sees herself working with nonprofits on such things as human rights issues, education, access to clean water, health care both in the US and abroad.
“I want to improve the lives of as many people as I can in my short time on earth.”
She plans to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins with a scholarship from the US Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program.