When the students at Burton Technology Center in Roanoke, Va., were looking to serve their community, all they had to do was go down the hall.
The local Headstart program, based at the tech center, had 15 children listed in need of holiday gifts through the local Total Action Against Poverty Program.
So, class sections each adopted a child and set a goal to raise a minimum of $100 per class per child.
With schoolwide participation, the students far exceeded their goal, raising $5,000 for gifts. They lost count of the hours spent shopping, wrapping and sorting but put in an estimated 86 hours alone preparing a holiday luncheon to distribute the gifts.
School fliers were posted as reminders for two months in advance. Publicity included articles in the school newsletter and on the Roanoke Times website, plus a mention on the county schools public-access show, Accent Excellence.
Theres something special about helping others, said Jeramey Bradley, a graphic design student. Just knowing that what you are doing is going to make someone happy is a great feeling.
When Kansas and Missouri were hit by tornados last spring, Parsons (Kan.) High School SkillsUSA and student council members organized a bus trip to assist the Red Cross in cleaning up debris in nearby Franklin and Arma. Franklin suffered devastating damage. Several people were killed and few buildings remained.
Three years ago, Parsons was hit and hundreds of volunteers came to help us, explains SkillsUSA advisor Cherie Thomas. We did not get hit this time, but neighboring communities did and the areas were declared disasters by the governor.
The students came up with the idea, feeling it was their way to pay back those who had helped them. They were supposed to be getting out of school that day to do job shadowing and field trips. Instead, they helped the Red Cross.
Through a Send a Star to States campaign in Bartonsville, Pa., Monroe County Area Vocational-Technical School students and SkillsUSA advisor Maria Hafler covered travel expenses to state competitions. The brainchild of Quiz Bowl team captain Corissa Flavey involved mailing potential sponsors and asking for a donation of $1 for a blue star, $5 for a red star or $10 for a gold star. Support from the Pocono Builders Association, Resorts USA and dozens of star buyers netted $6,400.
SkillsUSA Champions | Fall 2003 | Volume 38, No. 1