2007 Citizen Awards
When Nate Towne began volunteering at PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter), he didn’t know what to expect. But when he talked to the people he met there, he found out that there were reasons for their struggles: some of them had been in wars, and some had injuries.

“One had a wooden heel,” he remembers. “He spent a ton of money trying to get his leg healed, and he pretty much lost everything because he didn’t have insurance.”

His experiences there have shaped his outlook on life.

Over the past few years, when he wasn’t volunteering at PADS, Towne was a student at Fenwick High School. His experiences there range widely, including not just community service, but lacrosse, internet radio, and Tech Club.

The most influential person in his life other than his parents, Towne says, is his lacrosse coach, John Miester. He has been inspiring “just by making me work hard, every day.” Lacrosse has also been important in his life because he’s made many good friends on the team.

The lacrosse team won the Division A boys state championship on June 2, but Fenwick Director of Institutional Advancement Gerry Lordan remembers when the lacrosse team began during Towne’s freshman year.

“Most of them had never held a lacrosse stick in their hands,” Lordan says.

Because the team had to practice at a distant field near Loyola Hospital, “at the start of every practice, the guys would have to pound the lacrosse sticks on the ground to drive out the snakes. They had to keep on scaring the animal life away.”

Lordan says that what he likes about Towne is that though he’s by no means the star, “for him to hang in there … that was impressive.”

What Towne will be working hard at the next few years is electrical engineering, which he will study at the University of Iowa.

He will be bringing with him a passion for technology, which he’s demonstrated at Fenwick. Besides being a member of the Tech Club, he has participated in internet radio. He and other students have created shows about sports, technology, and current events. You can find their work online at http://fenwick.pvt.k12.il.us/radio/archives.php.

Towne says he gets excited about technology because of “how powerful it’s getting so quickly.”

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