Castaic High School teachers were in their Friday morning faculty meeting at the campus library before students were scheduled to come and start their last day of the school week.
In a corner with his camera stood 11th grader Broden Weeks, who was unaware that Vince Ferry, the high school’s principal, would be giving him the gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Award for his volunteerism at school and in his community.
The prestigious award has honored individuals since 2003 whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action, too, stated a news release about the program.
Weeks can be spotted at Castaic High School sports games running across the field with his camera, capturing moments of students in the bleachers cheering on their team, and the players living their victorious moments when they score.
He’s also known for documenting first responders rescuing those who need aid and assistance, and the occasional suspect of a crime arrested by sheriff’s deputies, and creating videography works for the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s departments. He also volunteers as a junior lifeguard assistant instructor at Castaic Lake and provides first aid CPR training, and is currently the executive producer for the school’s media department, among many other things.
The jack-of-all-trades teen excels in giving back to his community through his passion for media, and was recognized for hundreds of hours of volunteer work in front of his teachers, mentors and two very proud parents.
Ferry ,who was speaking in front of the gathering of teachers and other faculty members, shared his admiration for Weeks and his dedication for everything that he does.
“I can’t imagine this place without Broden,” Ferry said. “He’s an amazing man. We know his parents are doing an exceptional job raising the paradigm of what not only a student, but a child should be.”
Weeks shyly walked up to receive the gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Award medal and certificate while those around him gave him a standing ovation, and Ferry embraced him in a hug of appreciation.
Shane Weeks, Broden’s father, boasted about his son and how proud he was. He was standing still behind his phone, video recording and taking photos of every moment he could.
The reason why Broden dedicates so much time to his community is because he likes to lend a helping hand and highlight people and their stories, said Broden.
“I do it to make them feel good,” he said. “Make the community feel good.”
Broden said that he enjoys showing people what amazing things those in his community do. For example, filming the dance recitals allows him to highlight the performers. He creates videos so their family members can see just how talented they are and say, “Wow, this is really cool to see them perform,” said Broden.
Broden wasn’t looking for an award or any kind of recognition, said Shane. He never had plans to volunteer to get something out of it. “He just does it,” said Shane, and it’s who he is, said Broden’s mother Kathryn Weeks.
Even with a year left to graduate high school, Broden has sight of what he wants his future to be. Combining his extensive media career and Fire Department-related works, he’s aiming to become a public information officer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Kathryn said that even when Broden was a young child, he was always helping those around him before anyone asked.
“There’s been times the teachers needed something, he’d stay after class to help them,” said Kathryn. “I mean, what kid does that? I sure didn’t.”
They were both super proud of their only son for remaining true to himself, making an impact in his community and receiving a prestigious award for it.
However, like many parents raising a teenager, they come across the common frustrations of their child not completing their chores at home, such as cleaning their room. “But how can you fault him for all the effort he makes?” said Shane.
It’s a compromise they are willing to make, if their son is dedicating his spare time to helping others and setting himself up for success.