By Sean Wardwell
Killeen Daily Herald
Anthony Fetters, an 18-year-old Killeen High School senior, is an honor student who holds down a part-time job at a local roller rink.
When he's not doing that, he's helping lead Killeen's youth as a coordinator for the city's Junior Youth Advisory Commission.
When asked how he finds time for all these activities, Fetters replied, without hesitation, "I make the time."
"My homework is first, but when it comes to the Youth Advisory Commission or the Junior Youth Advisory Commission, I make sure it comes after homework," he said.
Fetters added that people sometimes get confused as to his motivations.
"When people ask me why I'm doing community service, they ask if I did something bad," he said. "I don't think of it that way. I tell them I'm doing it because it's something I like to do. It's volunteer work, not 'community service.'"
Fetters has been involved with serving the community since the eighth grade, when he first became affiliated with the city's Youth Advisory Commission, which serves as a liaison to the City Council on youth issues while also providing opportunities for community service.
In fact, Roxanne Winder, Killeen's youth programs specialist who supervises the commission, saw so much potential in Fetters, she tapped him to start the Junior Youth Advisory Commission, which recruits fourth- to seventh-graders.
Fetters said the junior commission does basically the same things the regular one does, like graffiti removal projects and food drives, with a few exceptions, and always under adult supervision.
"The (junior) program has grown exceptionally and I attribute that to (Fetters)," said Winder. "He's an exceptional leader. If you give him the opportunity, he goes beyond what's expected."
Fetters said he hopes his efforts encourage youth to see community service not as a chore, but as something that can be fun and keeps kids out of trouble.
"I like kids being more involved. I don't want (the kids) to be in trouble," he said. "This way, we keep the kids off the streets and into something they can do that's fun."
Defining community service as a fun activity is important to Fetters, as well.
"I just want the kids out there from fourth to seventh grades to realize that community or volunteer service can be fun," he said. "It's not because you have to do it. It's because you can do it. It's fun."
Contact Sean Wardwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.