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Schell wants to make the world a better place

July 16, 2011|By AARON SAUNDERS | aaron.saunders@herald-mail.com
  • Daniel Schell of Sharpsburg, standing, is pictured on the job in Joplin, Mo. Schell and other AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps workers were in Joplin to help the community in the wake of a May 22 tornado.
Submitted Photo

While many 22-year-olds are in college, searching for a job or living with their parents, Sharpsburg native Daniel Schell is helping others.

After his graduation from St. Mary's College of Maryland, Schell joined AmeriCorps, through which people ages 18 to 24 work in teams on projects nationwide.

"I wasn't really surprised when he joined AmeriCorps because he's always had this compassion for others," said Jennifer Drake, Schell's mother.

As leader of the Delta Division of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Schell supervised and worked with AmeriCorps members as they assisted the residents of Joplin, Mo., in the wake of the May 22 tornado that roared through the town.

Schell, who began the five-week assignment on June 10, remained in Joplin until last week. Drake said he has returned to his home base of Denver, where he will finish his first year in AmeriCorps. He has signed up for a second year, and will be stationed in Cape Cod, Mass., Drake said Friday in an email.

"Danny's been a very strong and organized leader while running the Delta Division in the field, and many corps members and volunteers look up to him greatly," said Kelsey Wood, AmeriCorps NCCC media coordinator.

According to his mother, Schell always has wanted to make the world a better place.

"He's always been a kid who cared about others," Drake said.

When he arrived in Joplin, Schell was shocked at the devastation that he saw.

"To be honest, the place I was at had no cable, so I really didn't understand the extent of what had happened until I got here," Schell said.

While in Joplin, Schell and his team worked eight hours a day, six days a week.

"I admire Dan's work ethic and dedication to serving the community of Joplin and people across the country," Wood said.

His team's tasks included volunteer supervision and data management, warehouse management, donation distribution, debris removal and staffing a hot line for missing people, according to a release from AmeriCorps.

Schell's work ethic and dedication go back to his days on the football field at Boonsboro High School.

"Dan possessed good work habits and dedicated himself to becoming a member of our first team," said Clayton Anders, Schell's high school football coach.

Because of the time and money that people have donated, things are getting better in Joplin, but Schell said the situation still was pretty intense.

"It has improved exponentially," he said. "It still shocks me, though."

Drake said she is proud of the work her son is doing, but sometimes worries about his safety.

"I do worry about him, but I have faith that God's looking out for him," she said, adding she was "extremely proud of the man he has grown up to be."

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