- Sponsorship -

Volunteers Challenge Students to Give of Themselves

When Comstock Park High School senior Justin Terveen helped deliver Christmas gifts to a local family in need last year, he saw the children were wrapped in blankets to keep warm because of insufficient heating. “It was a huge eye-opener to see what they don’t have,” he said.

Now he and fellow members of the Comstock Park High School Student Volunteer Board  are sending out a challenge to their peers. “Our goal is to have each and every one of you volunteer twice this semester,” said senior Noah Kibbe, board president, as he stood in front of new Comstock Park students during a welcome luncheon.

The student-led volunteer group recently launched the V2 campaign, emphasizing the twice-a semester goal. “What we have learned from past years is that the earlier students engage in community service, the more likely they are to continue service beyond high school, and the more likely they are to be more engaged in school in general,” said BettyBeth Johns, program adviser.

Students pitch in regularly for various causes, including Kids Food Basket, The 3 Mile Project, Maranatha Day Camp,  John Ball Zoo, Ronald McDonald House, Relay for Life events, and the Comstock Park and Alpine Township branches of the Kent District Library.

On a recent Saturday, volunteers participated at two events: the annual Out of the Darkness Walk at Millennium Park to raise awareness of depression and suicide and the Million Meal March for Feeding America on the White Pine Trail in Plainfield Township.

“What motivates me is helping out and knowing you’ve influenced someone in a positive way,” said Noah, whose project for the year is spreading awareness about suicide prevention.

A Growing LegacySeniors Justin Terveen  and Nolan Rossman collect recycling to support the student volunteer team

The student volunteer program at Comstock Park High School has evolved from students pitching in at athletic events to serving at more than 30 area nonprofit organizations. In 2014 the program will celebrate its 25th year. Johns took over the reigns of the growing program nine years ago from the group’s founder, Gary Holland. “It’s just grown and grown and grown,” Johns said.

More than 300 high school volunteers have donated a cumulative of more than 20,000 hours to community service in the past four years, Johns said. There is no graduation requirement for volunteering, though students said it’s helpful for college applications. “We have launched a number of capable, caring adults into the philanthropy field, and empower annually 10 student leaders who plan, create and implement multiple service projects,” Johns said.

Volunteering has become part of the fabric of the high school, said Principal Steve Gough. “I think we’ve developed a spirit of giving at our school,” he said.

Students gather paper from every high school classroom twice a week for the PaperGator recycling program, which provides the group’s financial support.

CONNECT

PaperGator Recycling

Comstock Park Public Schools

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

New high school teachers rise to challenges of pandemic year

Four new high-school teachers have so far led in-person, hybrid and virtual classes, having accepted the challenges of teaching in the midst of a pandemic...

No obstacle too challenging for young problem-solvers

Problem solving, strategic thinking and collaboration are on tap for young thinkers in a program at Pine Island Elementary School...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS