South Bend St. Joseph High School senior Mia Naman is our Michiana High School Student of the Month for January.

Redeemer Radio’s Student of the month, presented by St. Joseph Health System, recognizes students who excel in the classroom, show a strong Catholic faith, and are involved in extracurricular activities at school or in the community.

“We live in such a prominent Catholic community,” Naman explains. “God calls us to go out and serve other people. I’ve grown in my relationship with God through service and helping people and it’s my way to communicate with him and praying in a sense.”

Naman was nominated for this award by Nan Tulchinsky of the Northeast Neighborhood Food Pantry on Notre Dame Avenue near St. Joseph High School. Back at the start of the pandemic, Mia’s mom received a text from a friend asking if Mia and her sister Madison could help find families to donate food to the pantry because they were low on supply. Mia and her sister sprang into action and within 24 hours were on their way to their first food drive, picking up food from 53 different homes. They even got monetary donations.

The sisters decided to do another food drive in April and were able to go to the pantry for the first time then.

“While I was there, I saw people coming to get food and that’s what really made my sister and I realize we want to keep doing this every month,” Mia explained. “We saw the impact March and April made and when we saw people line up out the door, we wanted to keep doing this.”

The Naman sisters have organized a food drive each month since. Tulchinsky says Mia does it all in terms of sending shopping lists, making car pickups and bringing food to the pantry and helping to sort it.

“Mia sees the need for people struggling to feed their families during this pandemic,” Tulchinsky explains in why she nominated Naman for the Redeemer Radio Student of the Month. “She has spent endless hours on this project. We couldn’t be more thankful to her and her efforts. She is making a difference in this community and she is bringing others along in this endeavor.”

But wait.. there’s more! Naman is also a varsity athlete in basketball, soccer and tennis at St. Joe. She’s the school’s Student Body Secretary, co-captain of Mathletes, co-president of Student Ambassadors, FBLA Treasurer and a member of the Spanish and National Honor Society. Mia also volunteers at her home parish, St. Pius X in Granger.

And get this–Mia and her sister have even started their own non-profit, Waves of Well Doing. That’s right, high school students have started their own non-profit to help those in need in our community. The non-profit is assisting not only the Northeast Neighborhood Food Pantry but also St. Vincent de Paul Society, Toys for Toys, Holy Cross Health & Rehab Center and the Center for the Homeless. Visit wavesofwelldoing.org to learn more about their charity work.

“My parents have always raised me to help out those who might not have as much as me or others in our community,” Mia says.

Mia has made it a challenge to herself since her freshman year to stay involved in the local community and school community. How she has the time to do all this and maintain a 4.05 GPA in school is amazing!

“Having a lot more on my plate allows for my grades to be better in school because I’m super focused because I know I have to get this done by tomorrow, and this done by Wednesday,” she says. “So I stay on top of all my school work, my athletic and extracurricular work.”

Mia has not finalized a college yet but plans to major in both business and psychology and minor in Spanish. While she doesn’t know yet what she wants to ultimately do as a career, she knows she wants to serve others. No surprise there!

Be sure to check out our interview with Mia from the Daily Refill. The Student of the Month interview airs between 7:30-8am on the 1st Wednesday of each month on Redeemer Radio. To nominate a Student of the Month, go to redeemerradio.com/student and fill out the form.

Congratulations Mia!