Molly Rice (left) helped start the Go Green Club at Durant High School.

Durant High School senior Molly Rice was awarded the Peter R. Marsh Silent Servant Scholarship Award at the beginning of October 2022 to recognize her dedication to serving as a volunteer.

The $500 scholarship is awarded to public high school students across the nation that exemplified empathy and compassion through their volunteer work in the community. The Peter R. Marsh Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2004, gives the award to encourage selfless service and peaceful behavior.

Rice was nominated for her exceptional dedication to volunteer work by Durant guidance counselor Tamara Shaw.

“The presentation of the award, combined with testimony by the recipient, offers a teachable moment for their peers to be inspired by their empathetic and compassionate example,” according to the Marsh Foundation website.

To be considered, each nominee must demonstrate unselfish concern for the welfare of others through volunteer work without monetary or other personal gain.

Throughout high school, Rice volunteered through school-sponsored organizations and other nonprofits to support her community. Through Durant, Rice started an environmental organization that hosts park cleanups off campus for members. She also assisted in making posters to raise awareness for Durant’s Special Olympics team and has volunteered through Durant’s student councils since her freshman year.

“It makes me feel proud knowing that all of my hard work is recognized. I hope that it encourages other teens to get out and serve their community,” said Rice.

Rice also gives back to Mulrennan Middle School by volunteering at the school’s library during the book fair and tutors the middle school students.

Additionally, Rice volunteered at country clubs following Hurricane Ian, made Easter baskets for underprivileged children and donated toiletry bags to veterans.

“The most rewarding part of volunteering throughout high school is knowing that I have made a difference in my community, not only with the people in it but as well as the environment we live in,” said Rice.

For more information on the Peter R. Marsh Foundation, visit To learn more about the Silent Servant Scholarship Award or to nominate a student, visit the website or contact program administrator Jim Warford at

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Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.