Cable guy gets nod from Obama
July 21, 2009
Dan Jensen, a cable-repair worker for Qwest Communications in Summit County, will receive the 2009 President’s Volunteer Service Award for performing over 100 hours of community service in a year.
Jensen estimates his hours to be closer to around 500, but said it’s a labor of love.
For the past 25 years, Jensen has been involved in the Boy Scouts of America on a weekly basis. He started in Rock Springs, Wyoming, was a leader in Coalville for seven years and now resides in Midvale where he leads a troop of about 14 teenagers.
In addition to weekly meetings to perform service and work on merit badges, he also attends regular organization meetings and takes his troop camping at least once per month even in winter.
The time commitment is tremendous, but he believes he makes a difference in the lives of the boys. Jensen also said Qwest is very supportive of his service and even gives grants amounting to around $1,000 a year that Jensen uses to help less-affluent boys attend camps.
He got addicted to the program in Rock Springs where he worked with five boys who all eventually became Eagle Scouts the top rank.
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"They call called me from their different states where they were living and asked for me to attend their ceremonies because they said I was the reason they got it," he said. "All have gone to college and are doing well in the community. I’m kind of proud to see that happen."
In Midvale, he said half the boys come from single-parent families. If he wasn’t taking them outside to Goblin Valley or the Uintas, he doesn’t think they’d ever have gone.
"They need that exposure. I like to be there to help them get outside. I feel like we’re teaching them right principles so they don’t go out and cause the community harm," he said.
Jensen said he’s grateful that his own boys were able to participate in the Scouting program, and wants to make sure every boy has that opportunity.
The certificate from President Barack Obama was presented to him by the company, and he said it was a complete surprise.