She has been doing a lot of voluntary work through CatholicCare Social Services and is part of a rostered team that helps out with the Community Care Van in Newcastle, feeding and engaging with the homeless. With her Mum, Caprice puts together little packages of towels, soaps and toiletries. She volunteered for the Heart Foundation’s doorknock appeal, and is currently raising funds for the Cancer Council. She also volunteers through her sporting activities.
“Staying healthy through sport is very important to me − netball, swimming and water polo. I umpire, coach, score, play, really anything they need help with.”
Caprice’s passion for helping out in the community “just happened as something fun, and something that I enjoy”. Her parents are her role models, having initially motivated her involvement, although she has found she has met lots of other people who are like-minded and help out in the community because it’s fun and they love it. As part of connecting with others, Caprice has attended World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid in 2011 and the Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) in Melbourne in 2013. She hopes to attend ACYF in Adelaide in December and WYD in Kraków in 2016. She has found that immersing herself in these events has empowered and developed her personal faith.
Caprice’s extensive service to the community led to her receiving the Maitland Young Person of the Year award last January. In August she was the recipient of the prestigious John Lincoln Youth Award for Community Service. However, being involved in the community isn’t something that she sees as a service. “I just see it as the way to live, it’s pretty normal to me.”
Principal of St Mary’s, Elizabeth Cornwall, said, “Caprice is a wonderful young woman who has contributed amazingly to the community whilst studying for her HSC. We are very proud of Caprice for her achievement in being awarded the John Lincoln Youth Award."
In terms of her career, as well as going to university and hopefully entering the world of sports business, Caprice expects to continue contributing to the community as much as she can. She has been heavily impacted by how much helping others has grown into something she loves. “Any organisations or events that pop up, I will definitely be there.” She enjoys the “inter-connectedness” of local communities, and feels a real sense of belonging with the school and sporting communities, the Church and charity organisations. Caprice has a passion for people that is lifelong.
In 1992 the late Dr John Lincoln AM initiated youth community service awards. Each year 20 candidates are honoured at a ceremony at Government House in Sydney.
Lucy Gooch is a Year 11 student at St Mary’s, Maitland.