- Special Sections
- Public Notices
The Trimble Banner
Ideas ranged from spending time with senior citizens and helping ensure children have something to eat over a weekend to helping with an organization that provides therapy to special-needs children through horses.
Those were the projects that students in the Trimble County High School Teen Leadership Program either completed during the school year, or have committed to completing during the summer months.
In it’s third year and recently expanded to Trimble County Middle School and both elementary schools, the program is designed to “build leadership skills in high school and beyond,” said one of the sponsors, Carla Goins.
Students may apply to the program starting in their freshman year. They are required to explain why they believe they are leadership material, and must maintain 94 percent attendance and at least a 2.5 grade average to be eligible. Their applications, accompanied by letters of recommendation, are scored (without their names attached) by community leaders, Goins said. Only about 15 teens are accepted each year.
Co-sponsor Barbara Dukes said the service project is the culmination of the year-long program. “The only guideline is it must be something of service to the school or the community,” she said. “They are told to follow their hearts or their passion” when deciding on a project.
Ninth-grader Robbie Brooks decided to recruit groups of students for visits to Bedford’s Signature Health Care to spend time with elderly residents there.
Brooks started by signing up his track teammates, as well as members of the girls basketball team, the Beta club and other groups. Those that already have visitied “said they enjoyed doing it, and most said they would like to go again.”
Brooks plans to set up more visits over the summer. “A lot [of the residents] at the nursing home do not have families, and they get lonely,” Brooks said. He is working with the staff at Signature to determine which of the residents most need his service.
“The administrator, Fran Stahl, and the chaplain really liked the idea,” he said. “They set up who to visit.”
Trent Taylor, also a freshman, got involved with the “Shoeboxes for Soldiers” organization, and so far had collected enough items to fill four boxes, which will be sent to soldiers on the front lines in Afghanistan.
“The reaction has been good,” Taylor said. “My grandpa said it was a good thing.”
Taylor said he joined the program because he enjoys being a leader, and also because it will be helpful for his resume when he starts looking at colleges.
His career goal: “I plan to be a judge; ultimately, a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Freshman Colyn True decided to help with the “Snacks in a Pack” program, in which Head Start students are provided with a weekend’s worth of snacks that they take home in a backpack on Friday. They return the empty backpacks on Monday.
True’s job was to help keep the Family Resources and Youth Services Center pantry filled will items for the program.
“Every Wednesday, before track practice, I put nine snacks in bags for the weekend,” she said.
She became interested in the program when she was in middle school, and saw children going home with the packs. It inspired her to help. “I go home, I have as much food as I want to eat.”
The middle school program will conclude with an inspirational speaker on Tuesday, May 25, Dukes said. At that event, the high school projects will go on display again, for those who missed them the first time around.