The Trailblazers spent the entirety of last semester giving back to their communities, taking no days off to provide others with an abundance of resources - from athletics equipment to STEM lessons.
by Alexa Stiles (SC '19)
Staff Writer, The Standard
Over winter break, school charity clubs and service-oriented individuals both had the opportunity to reflect on their success in the first semester and plan for the new year with confidence. The new semester offers a great opportunity for community service, and encourages students to explore different ways to help those in need.
In the first semester, clubs like Rainbow Pack and Hoops with Heart saw great success in delivering equipment to underfunded schools. Rainbow Pack, founded by former Sierra Canyon student Riley Gantt (‘18), is currently providing homework supplies to 10 elementary schools, and hopes to raise enough money this semester to add another.
“We plan to have an ice cream sandwich bake sale in April, and we’re going to do some 50/50 raffles at a basketball game. We hope to raise awareness about Rainbow Pack and raise enough money to provide another school with materials,” co-president Drew Samson (‘18) said.
The new semester has brought an influx of middle school students to the club. Multiple club members have siblings in middle school who learned about Rainbow Pack through them, some of whom organized a pencil drive when they attended the Lower School. Samson hopes to teach the middle schoolers leadership skills so that they can carry Rainbow Pack forward when they enter high school.
“We’re all human beings and we all deserve [an equal education]. Some kids just don’t have the means to do their homework at night, and [we] provide them with an environment that they can succeed in [by giving] them an opportunity to do their homework correctly,” Samson said.
In February 2016, Hoops with Heart held a drive at the Watts Recreation Center and collected over five thousand dollars of sports equipment. In the first semester, they donated over a thousand dollars of equipment to schools, and held a clinic with the boys basketball team at Sara Coughlin Elementary School on October 24th. During break, Messinger applied for grants for further funding, so that the club can hold another donation event.
“I hope that we can affect more kids and spread [our club] to more schools in the area. The more athletic equipment we get, the more we can provide for those kids,” president Daniel Messinger (‘18) said.
Over winter break, Colin Bernstein (‘19) volunteered at the STEM program in the local chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization that works to educate children through enriching afterschool activities.
“There’s two branches of the[ir] STEM program, and mine focuses more on circuit theory, so it’s more for [kids aged] 10-15. I got to teach those kids over the holiday break, and now we’re transitioning from our last project and will be building Altoid-phone chargers. Each kid is able to take one home with them, which is something we haven’t been able to do before,” Bernstein said.
This article was originally published in The Standard, SC's official student newspaper.