Tales from the Table: Leo Arriola

Leo Arriola might just be one of the most inspirational young people you will ever meet. He began volunteering at Second Helpings during his 2016 summer break and loved it so much, he never left. He quickly won over the hearts of staff and volunteers with his sincere dedication and passion for carrying out our mission to transform lives through the power of food.

Leo moved to Indianapolis from Guatemala in 2016 and was introduced to Second Helpings by his mother who is a chef and who also volunteered with the Culinary Job Training Program alongside Chef Sam Brown. It didn’t take long before Leo started bringing his friends from Arsenal Tech High School to volunteer along with him. Whenever a school break came around, Leo would wake up and spend his extra time away from the books doing anything that needed to be done here at Second Helpings – Food Rescue, Meal Delivery, Hunger Relief meal prep – you name it! He is very passionate about our mission and enjoys being able to volunteer with an organization who makes such an impact on the Indy community.

When asked what he likes most about volunteering at Second Helpings Leo says, “Every time I finish preparing something in the kitchen, I like to count how many people we will feed with the food we are preparing. Also, I like the friendships I’ve made because everyone here is special.”

His most recent accomplishment? Graduating with honors from Tech High School and receiving a full academic scholarship to Hanover College where he plans to major in Pre-Med. He fluently speaks two languages, is learning a third and even had his senior photos taken here at Second Helpings!

Until late August, you can still find Leo’s big smile on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings in our Hunger Relief Kitchen. He is quite the young steward for Second Helpings and his bright spirit will warm anyone’s heart. We look forward to hearing about all of the incredible accomplishments he makes in the years to come and know he is someone who is going to make quite a remarkable impact on this world. He will be missed once he goes off to college but we will still look forward to receiving those big Leo hugs when he returns to volunteer during school holidays.

Congratulations, Leo! Second Helpings is very fortunate to have such a motivated young volunteer to spread the word about our mission. We are so grateful that you chose to become part of our volunteer family.

Are you interested in impacting your community like Leo?



Written by Manager of Volunteer Services, Adriane Rios


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