Niyyah A. Bilal Hayes: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.

Summer break is normally a time for most teenagers to relax, a time to hang out with friends, a time for staying up all night watching TV. A time for sleeping in late, a time for social media a time for lounging around the house playing video games. Niyyah Aisha Bilal Hayes is one teenager that decided to use her summer break to do something fun, creative and meaningful.


Niyyah A. Bilal Hayes


Category: Community Service

About Niyyah A. Bilal Hayes

Occupation: 10th Grade EHS IB Student

Years in Gainesville: Lifelong

During the last three summer Niyyah has volunteered as a Junior Volunteer (JV) at the Florida Museum of Natural History. She's volunteered in many capacities such as an exhibit docent, assisted with answering the phones and provided customer service to museum visitors. Her primary volunteer role has been working as an assistant camp counselor during the museum summer camp programs.

Over summer break, when most teenagers are still sleeping in late Niyyah is up early getting ready to begin her volunteer shift at 8:00am at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Niyyah arrives early to help museum staff set up the activities for the day and greets campers with a warm and friendly smile. Thanks to her love of learning, she's been instrumental in helping young children at the camp learn about fossils, dinosaurs, Florida wildlife, bugs, bridges and other modes of transportation.

Niyyah's volunteered more than 300 hours in three years at the Museum. She receives stellar volunteer reviews. Museum staff welcome her back to volunteer through out the year as "a party planner" where she helps to make youth ages 5-12 birthday an amazing experience at the museum. Niyyah has assisted museum staff with more than 30 birthday parties.

Niyyah is a 10th grade student that attends school at EHS IB Program. When Niyyah started volunteering at the museum thee years ago she was a 7th grade student attending Westwood Middle School Cambridge Program. When she is not doing homework, playing the tuba, reading a book, practicing driving or with friends at a football game Niyyah looks forward to continuing her volunteer service at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Submitted by Charles E Goston Sr

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