Service Spotlight: Talking Giving Back with Simone Tumolo '26

Giving back to others on a regular basis is what we like to call inspiration. Eighth-grade Cutthroat Simone Tumolo is just that: she has been volunteering her time since 1st grade, but it wasn’t until 6th-grade summer that she realized she had a passion for it. Not only has she made a difference in the community at large, but she’s made a difference internationally, as shown during a trip this summer to the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands via the program Broadreach where she joined in with other volunteers to help clear a path for locals to travel between towns. Those who work with her, love her. “Simone created delight through her volunteering at art camp!” says Cara Drougas, who owns and runs the children’s Fairy Camp that Simone has volunteered at for the past two summers. “Her kindness led girls to trust and follow her to swim in the river, and her thoughtful words encouraged their expressions of individuality at Art in the Garden. Simone has really bloomed, coming from being an eager art camp participant herself, now developing into a thoughtful helper and leader.” Natalie Heurkins, the SVCS Varsity Girls’ Volleyball Head Coach adds, “Simone was a huge help at all of our home games this year and even at one of our district tournament games. We are very thankful to Simone for volunteering so much time to the volleyball program.”

We asked Simone about her service, why she does some of the things she’s done to help, and why it’s important to give back. 

Q: Of all the service learning you’ve done, is there one experience that stands out as the most impactful? 
ST: The Community Table. I have done a few events with this new initiative. I am fortunate to have what I have, and being able to help those who have less is incredibly rewarding but also really fun. Earlier this year, they hosted a booth at the Haily Hot Wheels Car Show and I helped paint faces of the kids, served food, read books, games, and arts & crafts. I really think The Community Table is a cool organization and I’m hoping to do more with them in the future because I really think it makes a difference and it is a good opportunity for many of us to help. 

Q: Tell us the variety of ways you have helped these organizations?
ST: I’ve cleaned fruit, served meals, painted kids’ faces, helped with art projects, scored high school volleyball games, served as support crew at a major bike race, and even painted a ‘traffic garden’ on the blacktop here at SVCS! 

Q: You’ve been doing service since you were in 1st grade through SVCS. When did it really kick in that this was something you really like to do? 
ST: I started to get more involved in 6th grade because there was a service requirement. But during the summer of 6th grade, I volunteered as a junior camp counselor and I wanted to do more from there. I became motivated to do as much as I could and I was doing things on my own. 

Q: How many hours have you logged in this year alone? 
ST: To date, I’ve completed 85 hours since July. My goal is 100 hours…at least!

Q: Besides doing service, what other activities do you do? 
ST: I play volleyball for SVCS and the U14 Elite Team for Wood River Volleyball Club. I also play basketball for SVCS, tennis for school and during the summer, and I ski for fun. My favorite run? Definitely Ridge!

Q: How has SVCS shaped your view on service learning? 
ST: If SVCS didn’t have the community service program and an hour requirement, I don’t know if I would have started to volunteer on my own. And I’ve learned that it’s so much fun. You meet new people and try new things. Community School inspired me to help out and helped me to find my new passion. Community School provides great opportunities for kids to try new things and see the world in a new way. I am inspired to continue volunteering and see where it takes me!