Kylee Doyle of Conemaugh Township. finds community service rewarding

During her senior year of high school, Kylee Doyle did a graduation project where she had to give a presentation on what kind of career she wanted. She chose to work in a faith-based camp because it combined her two most important priorities in life: helping others — especially young people — and sharing her faith in Jesus Christ.

Six years later, she began to realize this dream.

Doyle was hired eight months ago as program director at Camp Harmony, a faith-based summer camp program near Hooversville. Her job is to plan activities for youth who come to the various camping programs offered at Camp Harmony, as well as to recruit youth to come to camp as staff or as campers.

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“It’s been awesome,” said the 24-year-old Conemaugh Township resident. “There is something new every day. I certainly don’t do the same thing every day. I am looking forward to my first summer here.

YWCA Tribute to Women

On May 19, Doyle received the Community Service Award at the YWCA of Greater Johnstown Women’s Tribute Awards for her work with the Cambria County Backpack Project and other volunteer service she has done in the counties. of Cambria and Somerset.

Each year, the YWCA recognizes a group of local women for their contributions to the betterment of the community. Eight women were honored in 2022: Rebecca McAneny Wicks, arts & letters; Lacey Ott, business; Kylee Doyle, community service; Carol Cecere, education; Allegra Stasko-Slick, nonprofit services; Jessica Masser, liberal professions; Brenda Szelong, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); and Tiffany Wetzel-Sturtz, Yellow Rose Award.

Doyle is the daughter of Tim and Ellen Doyle of Conemaugh Township. She has a younger brother, Brady, who is studying biology at Penn State Behrend in Erie.

She was nominated for the YWCA award by Marlene Singer, a Johnstown community organizer and coordinator of the Johnstown Hope Walk, which raises money to help local cancer patients with meals, transportation and d other needs.

“His energy is contagious and endless,” Singer said in his nomination letter. “She sees a need in the community and immediately works to find a solution. She uplifts the people around her, supports other peers and most importantly sets an example for other young women she comes in contact with.

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Doyle said she considered Singer “a true servant” and was honored that Singer saw those same qualities in her.

“It makes me excited because it confirms that I’m doing the right thing,” she said. “Serving others makes me feel good…not for credit, but because I’m using the gifts God has given me.

“To serve God is to make him proud, and when we are empty, he fills us.”

In addition to the YWCA award, Doyle has been recognized for her efforts by the Pennsylvania Senate and Cambria County Commissioners.

Cambria County Backpack Project

Doyle was coordinator of the Cambria County Backpacking Project when the COVID-19 pandemic began locally in March 2020. Schools participating in the project – which provides weekend meals during the school year to children in the need – had to switch to virtual learning. This meant that project organizers had to quickly find another way to have meals delivered to their students each week.

Fortunately, Doyle’s education at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College and Lock Haven University gave her the tools she needed to come up with a contingency plan to make sure those kids didn’t go hungry.

“I think I knew we had to serve the local community, but I didn’t understand the depth of it before,” she said. “I didn’t realize before how many people were in need. (The CCBP) opened my eyes to the need for help in our community.

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‘Make everyone feel like somebody’

As her two-year AmeriCorps service commitment to the Cambria County Backpack Project came to an end, Doyle said she was considering what she would do next. She considered moving to start her career, but soon realized she had more to do here at home.

“I heard God say, ‘I need you here a little longer,'” she said. “Then the Camp Harmony post appeared (and) I understood why God had asked me to stay here.”

She said she looks forward to working and playing with campers and staff as the summer camping season begins in June.

“It’s going to be really cool to see this all in action,” Doyle said. “Building relationships is huge because in the future they will see how important relationships with other believers are.

“Having fun is also huge because they are able to trust you more and talk things over. A great quality of leadership is doing what (others) do. You have to care about what you are doing because they are watching you very closely. Another important thing is that you have to be authentic because if you’re not authentic they can see through that.

Doyle also volunteers her time throughout the Conemaugh Township community, serving as a councilor for the high school technology student association, assistant undergraduate volleyball coach, council member board of the Common Grounds Outreach youth organization and with his church’s youth group.

Throughout her life, Doyle said, she has witnessed how serving others brings joy to both giver and receiver. In her address at the YWCA Tribute to Women Awards, she shared how the examples set by her family and others have influenced her life.

“When we use our gifts to serve, we shed ourselves and that’s when God can fill us with peace, joy and strength,” she said. “In my own life, I continually feel the fullness and joy that comes with the physical and emotional exhaustion that comes from giving of myself to others.

“My parents, grandparents and other influencers have, and continue to be, a wonderful example of what loving others looks like. Every day I strive to follow in their footsteps and I will never thank them. enough for their unwavering support.

Norma P. Rex