At 18, Sarah Elizabeth Kate Genn has dedicated her life to volunteering, including helping to feed the hungry in New Haven’s soup kitchens and raising money to assist the needy overseas.
Her work to help others began at an early age. In just the second grade, Genn headed a project to benefit the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry. She raised enough money to feed seven families in Ethiopia for one year.
She also raised money to help finance an organization that goes into war-torn countries to dismantle landmines in small villages.
“Instead of getting presents, I’d have my family and friends donate money to one of the charities that I work with,’’ said Genn, explaining how she’s been able to raise funds.
Genn said helping others has been part of her life since almost “the day she was born.’’ Her mother, Nancy Genn, always encouraged the family to be active in the community. She says that she was taught to give rather than receive.
“I cannot even remember when I started [volunteering]. I guess I have always grown up with it,” Genn said.
One day, Genn hopes to go to Ethiopia and work with the people that she’s been sending money to for years.
“I’d like to sit down with the people and help,” Genn said. “I am more of a hands-on person.”
Geen isn’t sure what career path she will take. She’s considering careers in culinary arts or criminal justice.
But it’s clear that her passion to help others – whether it’s in an urban soup kitchen or as far away as Ethiopia – will remain a big part of her life.
Lydia Castillo is a senior at Guilford High School.