MEET JOY'S TEAM MEMBERS

Drake Griffith

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Founder

Hello! My name is Drake Griffith, and I am a senior at Cannon School. I was born in Princeton, New Jersey, but I call North Carolina home as I moved to Kannapolis when I was three years old. I am currently involved in various leadership positions, academic honor societies (English, History, and Chinese) and athletic teams (Cross Country and Track) at Cannon School. While academics and athletics are two big focuses of mine, another passion is community service. Since 6th grade, I have been involved in many different community service programs and activities, and I was awarded the Presidential Community Service Award in 2019. I have volunteered in past summers to intern for both NC Governor Roy Cooper and US Congressman Richard Hudson. Of special note, for the summers of 2018 and 2019, I have had the honor and privilege of participating as a one-on-one helper camper in the HUGS program (Helping Understand God through Sharing). Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of NC, HUGS offers special needs adults the opportunity to participate in the traditional summer camp experience. My passion for using my talents and resources to give back to my community led me to the idea and founding of the Spread JOY project in the spring of 2020.  Project Spread JOY gives me an opportunity to give back to the world and to others.  "Giving back" is a top priority in my life.

THE PROJECT SPREAD JOY TEAM WISHES THE BEST OF LUCK TO DRAKE AT GEORGIA TECH!

Harrison Powe

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Co-Founder

Hi! My name is Harrison Powe. I was born in Huntersville, North Carolina, and have lived here my whole life. I am a senior at Lake Norman Charter High School. Alongside my schoolwork, I am also a competitive swimmer. Being a competitive swimming requires 25 hours a week of training, 11 months out of the year, on top of my school work. Additionally, I am an honors student, currently carrying a 4.0 GPA and at the top of my class. Needless to say, I am dedicated to my academics swimming, which has paid off as I have just recently committed to Brown University! Project Spread JOY gives me an opportunity to connect with older generations and make relationships with people much wiser and with more knowledge than me. It has made me see things from different perspectives which has helped me grow as a person.

THE PROJECT SPREAD JOY TEAM WISHES THE BEST OF LUCK TO HARRISON AT BROWN UNIVERSITY!

Michael Wang

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President/CEO

Hello! My name is Michael Wang, and I am a Junior at Cannon School in Concord NC. I lived in Illinois for 14 years and moved to North Carolina when I was a freshman. I believe in developing meaningful relationships through sports, activities, and service. I am on Cannon’s baseball and soccer teams and participate in our school’s musicals. I am also part of the Science Olympiad team and Cannon’s Clean Creek Club. This past summer, I was a part of PALS Programs’ Virtual Camp which brought people with Down syndrome and volunteers together.

Project Spread JOY not only gives volunteers an opportunity to grow and learn from their experiences, it also connects older adults and youth while creating positive, meaningful, and lasting relationships. 

Sydney Strauss

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Social Media Specialist

Hello!  My name is Sydney.  I am a Senior attending Mountain Island Charter School.  I also swim year round with MSA.  I am planning to swim in college next year.  I am involved in many clubs at my school, including Key Club, NHS, Student government, senior advisory, and the NCS athlete committee.  I am excited to work with everyone this year!!!!! 

Leo Hu

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Technology Specialist

Hello, I’m Leo Hu. I’m a Junior at TC Roberson High School in Asheville, NC. I was born in Columbus, Ohio, but have spent the majority of my life in Greenville, SC. I moved to NC at the beginning of 2021. My hobbies include tennis, coding, and reading. I’ve also started my own speech and debate program at my high school. I think Project Spread JOY is a great way for me to connect and contribute to my community. I look forward to working with you all!

Lilly Carpenter

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Statistician 

Hi! My name is Lilly Carpenter, and I’m the Statistician for Project Spread JOY. I am a Senior at RJ Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, NC. My passions include skiing, reading, and helping my community! Being a part of this organization has become such a memorable experience throughout my high school career. I can’t wait to work with each and every one of you!