Two teams involved in the Students in Action (SIA) program won gold banners during the Celebration of Service district competition.
McCutcheon High School students highlighted their efforts in operating Mav Threads, a donation closet with clothing and personal care items for students in need. During the presentation, the students explain how they decided to do the project, how they implemented it, what they learned, how they overcame challenges, the impact made, and what they hope to accomplish in the future.
“More than 300 students use our free clothing closet and more people are constantly coming in,” says sophomore Christian Castro. “This project got us looking into how many people in the greater Lafayette community could be suffering from food and clothing insecurity.” The team held bake sales and other fundraisers to generate more than $3,000 for local nonprofits.
In the district competition, the Mavs also won Top Presentation, Best Oral Presentation and advisor Ebony Gilbert was named Advisor of the Year.
“It is absolutely beautiful and moving,” says Gilbert. “Seeing how passionate our young people are about making a difference is such a positive experience.”
McCutcheon will send several students to Washington DC in June to participate in the National Youth Summit at Howard University, where they will have an opportunity to network with other SIA teams from around the country and participate in community service in our nation's capital.
Wea Ridge Middle School’s SIA team also earned a gold banner, as well as certificates for Most Creative Project and Most Meaningful Reflection, which was the written portion of the contest. The group organized a donation drive “Unleash Your Superpower” for the Almost Home Humane Society.
Seventh grader Levi Wright suggested the group support the animal shelter after his family rescued a cat with kittens. “I learned that animal shelters need money to support animals that are injured or need special care, not just toys and food,” says Wright.
Classmate Aleta Frerichs says joining SIA helped her realize young people can make a big impact on the community. “I hope each team member walks away knowing they made a difference in someone's life,” says Aleta. “Also, working together can make a bigger impact on the community and it's more fun to do it with your friends.”
The Students in Action program started from Multiplying Good and the Jefferson Awards Foundation to inspire middle and high schools to build leaders and promote community engagement. Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is a partner in the program.
McCutcheon SIA team
Front Row (L-R) Mogan Zubay, Milly Coolman, Jesse Sierra
Row 2: Janessa Martinez, Brianna Chrust, Faith Coons, Vanessa Carrico, Ava Lacey, Noah Bower
Row 3: William Holden, Chris Castro, Emily Harding, Jacob Buche, Trinity Gilbert, Madison Dimmitt
Not pictured: Emma Baker, Jade Stetler, Nariyah Brigham, Claire De Lon, Irelin Hair, Addison Thayer, Kara Nading, Grace Sietsma, Ava Robinson, Gisella Garcia-Ortego, Jovanna Munoz, Ashley Moseley, Giavonna Bell, Jovani Easterly-Velazquez, Madison Desjardins, Jacqueline Bennett, Audrey Blann, Sophia Betz, Braxton Ferney, Ygnacio Munoz and David Fisher.
Wea Ridge Middle School team
Front Row (L-R): Hannah Dockrill (advisor), Lidia Vargas, Trinity Coons, Christian Betz, Levi Wright, Isabella Shell, Masha Fokin, Aleta Frerichs, Katie Harding, Paige Focosi. Row 2 (L-R): Allison Clark, Evie Shepler, Piper Scobee, Emily Humphrey, Emma Akridge, Aniyah Peete, Mya Pease, Avery Ramey, Cole Madsen, Aubrey Learman, Stephanie Karpicke (advisor).