BERLIN – A Worcester Prep student was recognized this week for his contributions to public service with a Jefferson Award.
On Thursday, WBOC’s Kimberly Wiggins named Ethan Scheiber a 2018 WBOC Jefferson Award winner in front of family, friends and elected officials at the school.
Scheiber, a junior at Worcester Prep, was honored for his public service to several organizations, including the Worcester County Humane Society, the Art League of Ocean City, Temple Bat Yam, YMCA Camp Silver Beach and more.
Scheiber will be the first Jefferson Award winner from Worcester Prep, as well as the first in Maryland to have a sibling who has also won the award. His sister, Emily Scheiber, was a 2015 Jefferson Award recipient.
Wiggins’ announcement was followed by a reception, where Scheiber received praise, as well as commendations, from several local elected officials.
Mayor Gee Williams commended Scheiber for volunteering his time to several organizations.
“I’m very impressed Ethan has taken, on his own, the responsibility and the opportunity to lead,” he said. “I want to say to you that you are never too young to lead by example.”
County Commissioner Diana Purnell said Scheiber’s dedication to public service is something that is needed in Worcester County.
“Ethan, as a young man and accomplished individual, that’s wonderful for this county,” she said. “Don’t leave … We need you to stay here.”
Anne O’Connell, board member and volunteer with the Worcester County Humane Society, said she has had the pleasure of working alongside Scheiber at several Humane Society events. She noted that Scheiber is an example of “the best volunteerism can be.”
“Ethan displays, in our world, such a generosity of his heart,” she said. “He is truly a voice for the animals that we serve in the community, the homeless, the helpless and the strays. He’s such an exceptional example of what love can do for animals that need us.”
Rina Thaler, executive director of the Art League of Ocean City, said she has known Scheiber since he was 5 years old and was his Hebrew teacher at Temple Bat Yam.
Thaler explained Scheiber originally started volunteering at the Humane Society as part of community service project for bar mitzvah students.
“They had to go out and do something for the community,” she said. “Most kids just stop after they do that one project, but he continued and then came to the art center to volunteer.”
Thaler attributed Scheiber’s commitment to public service to his family, his education and experiences.
“I think he has had an excellent foundation and this award is a testament to good parenting and wonderful opportunities at school …,” she said. “I think he’ll really do well in life and will make everybody in this area proud.”
Scheiber’s mother, Gail, said her son had always had a penchant for helping others. She highlighted her son’s efforts to establish a children’s hospice carnival and clean up the beaches on Assateague Island in years past, among other things.
“I’m beyond thrilled he receive this award for his accolades,” she said.
Scheiber, surprised by the recognition, took the opportunity to thank everyone for their support.
“I want to thank everyone for being here,” he said. “This was very unexpected, but it’s very nice and exciting and surprising.”
The Jefferson Award is a national recognition system to honor individuals for their commitment to public service. Locally, WBOC-TV presents the award to “ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”