Around the Corner—Schurz High School buildOn Volunteers

Around the Corner—Schurz High School buildOn Volunteers

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buildOn high school students have a strong sense of service. In addition to school, homework, time with family and friends, and other activities, they typically spend several hours each week doing service projects.

Schurz High School buildOn students have volunteered to help with the Around the Corner teen art exhibit. The evening before the event they will gather at the Hairpin Arts Center to help with the logistics of receiving artwork and setting up displays. During the May 14th reception they will be important in welcoming visitors and providing information and otherwise making the event run smoothly and pleasantly.

buildOn is a non-profit organization which operates out of 44 high schools across the U.S. Its goal is “to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.” “It empowers urban youth to transform their neighborhoods through intensive community service and to change the world by building schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world.”

It uses a service learning process which provides hands-on applications of knowledge and skills to real-life community needs.

Their work earns community service points toward a trip somewhere in the world where the needs are great. When they arrive, these young people live with local families and build schools. Total service hours logged by the Schurz buildOn program are among the strongest in the U.S. The program reaches about 145 Schurz students and has a core membership of 40-45.

Projects go on every week and weekend. Some are one-time or short-term projects such as Around the Corner, whereas others are ongoing, for instance, service at a community center.

One young man said he got involved with buildOn because his brother was in it. “At first it was sort of boring,” but now he is very involved. He helps little kids with activities at a church gym and says it’s “like magic.”

Once a month some of them take lunches downtown and walk around handing them out to people who look homeless and hungry. They put together sandwiches and cookies and include cards with positive or inspirational messages. There is a variety of sandwiches so the recipients have a choice. I view these teens as giving not just food but also thoughtfulness and caring.

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