Central Illinois teen presented with congressional award

By WEEK Reporter

August 31, 2012 Updated Aug 31, 2012 at 10:20 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- She's barely old enough to sit behind the wheel, and already one central Illinois girl has given back to her community more than most of us do in a lifetime.

Friday, Peoria Congressman Aaron Schock presented 17 year-old Aditi Warhekar with the Congressional Award.

Typically, one earns such hardware by completing upwards of 200 hours of community service.

Aditi-- through her work with area hospitals-- completed more than 400.

"I love volunteering. It's so much fun. You get to meet so many amazing people, and you get to see the impact you're making," says Aditi. "And it's fun being able to work at all these different places and learn different things."

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock called her award "a win-win. It's something I've encouraged young people to do in high school to get that experiential learning firsthand before they go spending a lot of time, energy and money getting a college degree that they may not be happy doing the field of study or doing the job once they get the college degree."

And the experience volunteering in hospitals will go a long way for this ambitious young woman.

She plans on going into medicine one day.

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