We often hear about teens who take on community service projects for clubs, church, youth groups and so on. When’s the last time you heard of a teen taking on a community service project independently? There is just such a teen in Enchanted Valley. Caroline Shiloh, a resident of EV for the past two years, was struck by the idea this summer that she wanted to leave a legacy behind for herself and her boyfriend Seth. She is going into her senior year at Cy-Fair and Seth headed off to the Army in August. “We both agreed that there was a strong sense of community in Enchanted Valley, and we wanted to contribute to that feeling.” Inspiration came during a visit to a park in Bryan where she saw a little library for the first time. That’s where the idea took hold. In August Caroline met with the EV HOA Board to present her plan. She, and the project, was warmly received. Steve Thomson, President of the HOA, commented, “ I think it's great our neighborhood youth is getting involved in the neighborhood.” The sentiment was echoed by Board Secretary Rick Nickerson, “I second what Steve said, and almost any involvement of our youth in our community is great for EV. I applaud her work and generosity.” Caroline hopes to help get the community interacting over the library and provide a convenient bonding time for families. “I am hoping to reach all age groups above 6 years old, as it is intended for anyone who may spend time at the park; children, dog walkers, and even just people driving past. There will be classics, modern must-haves, and children’s books.” To start things off she has some books herself as well as some a few helpful friends will be contributing. Residents have already started stepping up to donate books. “This afternoon I was working near the clubhouse gates,” added Nickerson, “and a family (dad and three kids) came by headed to the pool. They asked what are you doing? I told them about the book exchange program and they were very excited saying they love books and have many to donate. That was very nice to hear.” Word has spread rapidly about the little library. She will be refreshing the supply of books every week and repairing it as needed. Working with the HOA Beautification Committee, the perfect spot was chosen; just outside the gates to the community park. Caroline hopes to build a bench nearby in the future to offer a place to sit and read. The Beautification Committee, along with Caroline’s input, has started planning the landscape around the library. Being warmly received seems to come naturally to Caroline. Over the years she has worked with the Mission of Yahwe donating clothes and feeding the homeless, with LifePath Church working church garage sales, and for the past three years she has gone to Port Isabel, South Padre Island, with Fairfield Baptist Church to rebuild playgrounds, clean streets, paint houses, and spread the word of God alongside underprivileged children and families. This is definitely a young lady who needn’t worry about leaving a legacy! What’s in store for this enterprising teen in the future? “Over the next year I plan to save up money for a trip to Europe over the summer and enjoy my last year of high school as much as possible. This year I plan to be inducted into the French National Honor Society, graduate Magna Cum Laude, and be accepted into the Occupational Therapy program at the Honors Collage at Lone Star Tomball then transfer to UTSA to get my Masters in Occupational Therapy.” We know Caroline will do well in whatever she attempts to accomplish. With family support like hers and a boyfriend who stands with her in her endeavors, failure is not an option.
The Book Trade
The Shiloh family: Left to right: Caroline, Kelly, Mary, Coleman, Mimi, and Michael