Topeka teen transforms church storage room for youth group, earns Summit Award

Someone You Should Know

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– A Topeka teen is juggling a lot of activities during her time in high school. One of the most important things she’s doing is providing a safe space for people her age.

On Sundays, you can find Halley Robinett at the Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church.

She’s is a busy 18-year-old. She’s president of the Jayhawk Council Venturing Officer’s Association, in the International Baccalaureate Curriculum. She’s also an honor scholar, a tennis player and she’s on the first-ever women’s wrestling team at Washburn Rural High School, just to name a few.

It’s her work in the church that’s getting big recognition lately. To earn her Summit Award with Scouts, Halley thought of how she could help the people she connects with

“I wanted to focus on people my age just because they kind of tend to get overlooked a little,” Halley said.

Halley started with a room that used to be an old storage space in the church. She took on a project to convert it into a renovated youth space. She stripped the paint, got help with changing the flooring and re-decorated the room to give her and her peers a safe space to be themselves and open up about anything.

“She just has a tremendous internal drive to make sure that she does the best she can,” Beth Robinett said, Halley’s mom. “You don’t see that in a lot of people. It’s in there. But she’s not happy, can’t sleep at night, until she has completed all she can do.”

To Halley, this was just something else she had to do, even though she juggles a lot at a time

“I feel like I’ve done a lot in just my 18 years,” Halley said. “That just seems so little. You can do so much if you put your mind to it. Just get out there get involved in the world.”

The hard work is paying off. She earned her Summit Award, as well as her Venturing Leadership Award. Halley said the main message she’s spreading isn’t about recognition, it’s more about thinking of others and helping them whenever you can no matter your age.

Halley said one of her favorite service projects she’s done was a mission trip to Florida to help renovate houses after a hurricane. She was also joined by the youth group and her family.

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