History of TAPS

News & Quotes From Our Graduates

Emma Herman - graduated 2014

"You go into [TAPS] wanting a golden star for college apps and resumes; you come out of it wanting to change your major. School teaches you the importance of earning a living by what you get. TAPS teaches you the importance of earning a life by what you give."

Alex Mora - graduated 2014

"Through TAPS I have learned that there are many different ways to help people in need. One person's service makes an impact but collectively we  can accomplish so much more."

Megan Allison - graduated 2011

"Everyone in high school wants to do community service, whether it be to get involved or to make their resume look nice. However, TAPS teaches girls just how fun community service can be. Whether our group was bringing pets to a retirement home, acting out disasters with rescue teams, or holding baby showers for hospitals in need, we were always having fun and creating lasting memories. These experiences inspired me to work with special needs kids later in high school, and continue community service at the collegiate level. I am so happy I spent four years with such an empowering organization."

Our Presidents


Melanie English

Founder & President


Melanie English


Alyssa Roche

Current President



Pres Alyssa Roche

Marie Matson





Patti Turetsky




Pres Patti Turetzky


Nina Barley




Pres Nina Barley


Joan Saupe




Past Pres Joan Saupe


Ann Sussman




No Photo


Lisa Danish




Past Pres Lisa Danish


Teresa Proctor




Past Pres Teresa Proctor


Kirsten Melton




Pres Melton Kirsten

How TAPS Came To Be

TAPS (Teen and Parents Service Society) was founded on February 1, 2002. The idea was born from watching our daughters, Anne and Mary, become teenagers and realizing that their lives were moving away from us and that their peer-community seemed so self-centered and materialistic. I felt that as girls, our daughters needed to be reminded of their worth and value through learning leadership skills, challenging their viewpoints, and pushing them out of their comfort zones instead of by their clothes and popularity. Throughout my childhood, my family life was intertwined with the riches of education, the fine arts, and community service. As an adult, my experiences in Kappa Alpha Theta, the Junior League, as a Girl Scout leader, and volunteer at our local schools further fostered my desire to create a teen volunteer organization that centered on intrinsic growth as opposed to extrinsic validation. My focus for TAPS was to be an organization that would promote volunteerism through effective action and leadership. Its purpose was to be exclusively educational, service-oriented, and charitable. TAPS would be a four-year program, 9th-12th grade. Its goal would be to empower teens with the gift of putting others first, the gift of giving.

I researched the teen volunteer opportunities in our area. There were several national and local organizations, but I wanted to tailor something that would reflect our community and the needs of our teenage daughters. Once I formulated a mission statement and created a name, I contacted some friends I thought might be willing to help launch TAPS. These women, Christy Deibert, Rhonda Montgomery, and Cindy Sakai became co-founders. With the additional help of my husband, Robson English, we created our first Board of Directors. Twenty-five invitations were sent out and on February 1, 2002 we welcomed seventeen teens and their parents as Charter Members. Additionally, we added Laurie and Kaley Ervin, who would be our anchors for the next Class. We started on a “wing and a prayer” and lots of enthusiasm. Untold number of hours were spent writing by-laws, project plans, and official documents to garner our 501C status. Since 2002, everyone has worked tirelessly, including our teens, to build a strong organization and the tradition of “changing lives with a joyful heart”. The TAPS Presidential Service Award and Founder’s Award were created to acknowledge the accomplishments of our teen members. We added a summer program, JUMPIN!, to support our Active membership and a Sustainers program to offer continued community service to our graduated teen and parent members.

Through our many projects, partnerships with other non-profits, and our work with Love-A-Child Mission, I see TAPS growing and touching lives each and every day. Our grade level programs encompass the environment, health care, abuse and addiction, the elderly, children, literacy, poverty, patriotism, homelessness, city emergency workers, and animal therapy. Their senior year, our teens develop their own service project, from start to finish. Our summer swim program, JUMPIN!, includes high school boys, the brothers and friends of our members. Our yearly April’s Angels project incorporates all of our membership, including the dads and younger siblings.

Since that first February and Class of seventeen, TAPS has graduated well over 260 teens, volunteered over 100,000 hours of community service, and inspired many of our graduating seniors in their career choices. The time spent helping others and participating with other teens and their parents in a variety of community service projects begins to plant the seeds of care and concern for others. Each year we see those seeds sprout and blossom in the lives of the remarkable young women in our organization. I am always deeply touched by their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to others, in their neighborhoods, collegiate experiences, and career choices not only here at home but globally. As I look back and think about how we started and where we are today, I am reminded of a saying from a dear friend: “ Surprised? No. Proud? Yes!”

-Melanie English, Founder

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