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Sarah Mathews: Preserving Naperville's Past at Naper Settlement

For six years, Sarah Mathews has been giving her time to share stories and provide insight into Naperville's history as a volunteer at Naper Settlement.

Sarah Mathews began her volunteer service at in 2006, when she was just 12-years-old. As a Junior Volunteer Interpreter, she interacted with the visitors, sharing the lifestyles of 19th century children.

Six years later, Sarah is still very much a part of Naper Settlement, providing great experiences for visitors while helping them better understand the past.

She has played a number of important roles from demonstrating life on the prairie at the Log House to a History Connector. Sarah also gave guests a glimpse into the history behind settlement buildings like the Print Shop by leading tour groups.

As a member of the settlement's volunteer program, Sarah has given more than 220 hours of service to Naper Settlement. And because of her devotion to preserving the past, on behalf of Naper Settlement, Director of Learning Experiences Nancy Smith nominated Sarah for a Naperville Youth Service Award.

Every year, KidsMatter together with Mayor Pradel and the Naperville City Council, give out the  Youth Service Awards to deserving teen volunteers during a special ceremony.

Always eager to learn more and expand her areas of service, she also serves on Naper Settlement's Volunteer Advisory Committee and helped out at various events like All Hallows Eve and Maple Sugaring Days.

During the past six years as a settlement volunteer, Sarah has provided guests with hands-on activities while engaging visitors with stories and activities from Naperville’s history. 

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