Helping hearts

NAHS students are helping their community this holiday season

by Breanna Shane Carver

The holiday season is finally here. The temperature is lower and the spirits are higher, so are the needs in our community.

NAHS is known for excelling in sports and performing arts. Some people may not know that NAHS also caters to the community in other ways. Home to Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society, NAHS isn’t just about dunking and Music Man. These clubs and organizations couldn’t function without the aid of the students involved.

Key Club

Senior Hannah Manger feels that she has gained much through being in Key Club and volunteering in her community.

“There are many benefits to being a part of an organization like Key Club,” Manger said. “Aside from knowing that you are helping others in need and doing things just for the sake of doing it, Key Club is nationally recognized and looks fantastic on college applications and scholarship forms. I have been an active member for four years, and I believe that that involvement will help me get competitive scholarships.”

When doing the work involved in Key Club, one may have to have something other than scholarships on the brain. Each Key Club member has to be an upstanding member of the community, as well as perform 25 hours of  community service per semester.

“I enjoy volunteering because it’s easy to do,” Manger said. “I know that I’m not able to do it as much as I would like with my busy school and swimming schedules, but I know that every minute I devote to volunteer service is worthwhile. Seeing people so grateful for something as easy as working in a soup kitchen on a Saturday morning is humbling. It makes me appreciate everything that my parents have provided for me. Without those experiences I feel that it would be easy to lose touch with reality.”

Sponsored by Kiwanis, Key Club’s main purpose is to “Do the Right Thing.” according to the 2012-2013 club selection booklet. Members raise money and awareness for over five different causes, such as the Susan G. Komen foundation and UNICEF.

“Key Club is a nationally recognized, community service based organization,” Manger said. “Kiwanis International oversees the thousands of existing chapters of Key Club. ‘The Key to Life is Helping Others’ is the motto.”

Key Club overall is about volunteering, helping the community, and bettering yourself as a person in society. For more information, see Ms. Casey Schneider, room B312.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Junior Caden Wheat is heavily involved in FCA. She not only co-leads with senior Shane Robison, but is also involved in volunteering.

“FCA is something great to have in schools,” Wheat said. “It’s helped shape me. It provides a chance to get to know people who have the same beliefs as me.”

FCA has many chapters in high schools and colleges across the country, according to science teacher, and FCA sponsor Mr. Jason Cox. There are many chapters of FCA, according to Cox. He and Wheat share the opinion that the organization has been a positive influence in schools.

“FCA gives students support, networking, encouragement, an opportunity to be heard,” Cox said. “In a world that so desperately needs hope, they are there to facilitate.  When students are empowered and equipped to face many of that challenges that they face today their message oftentimes ends up spilling into their everyday life.  People, regardless of the difference, respect a leader and usually listen when the speaker is confident/secure.  FCA helps foster the value that students aren’t getting worse with each generation, but stand for what is right, just and true. ”

FCA services the community in a variety of ways. On November 10, they were host to the Mayors Prayer Breakfast. They have, on many occasions, volunteered for the Salvation Army.

“FCA is an organization that offers support, networking as well as a vector for discussion on many different issues/topics that students face today,” Cox said. “FCA is a Christian society that empowers peers and others and has a goal of making a positive impact on our school culture.”

For more information, visit Mr. Cox in room B133.

National Honor Society

Senior Annie Kron is the secretary for National Honor Society,  an organization that is dedicated to recognizing and honoring students who excel in school, according to the National Honor Society website.

“I would encourage others to join NHS because it is a great way to help out the school and the community,” Kron said. “As a member of NHS, many opportunities are given to you to be more involved with in-school activities and out-of-school activities.”

According to the NHS website, there are over 800 chapters across the United States.

“National Honor Society is truly an honor to be a part of,” Kron said. “Teachers choose students to be inducted to NHS based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character, and it is a great pleasure to be a member of NHS.”

For more info on National Honor Society, visit Mr. Matthew Jacobi in room A225.

Web Exclusive: Q&A with Key Club President Mary Reising

Q- How do you benefit from Key club? What do you get out of it?

A- Key club not only increases my involvement in the community, but also in my school. The key club is an awesome group of kids and being able to grow closer with them is equally as meaningful to me as helping out around the community. I get a really close feeling of community and the people in it through key club.

Q- Why do you enjoy key club?

A- I love key club because it’s an opportunity to make a difference directly through NAHS. I don’t even have to leave the building to be involved in a group of awesome students who are devoted to making a difference in the community.

Q- What made you want to join?

A- I joined key club my freshman year because it seemed like a club that had a lot of opportunities for me. I already do a lot in the community so it seemed like a good place for me to fit in.

Q- Do you have a favorite place to volunteer?

A- I don’t have a favorite place to volunteer but I do a lot of soup kitchens through St Marks and Trinity. I’m always looking for different ways to get involved though. I love any service that involves working with people and getting to know people in the community. It makes it so much more rewarding when you know the person who you’re helping out.

Q- Could you estimate how many hours of service you have this semester? How many would you like to achieve by the end of this year?

A- Right now I have about 15-20 hours of service for the semester. We are required to get 25 hours per semester for the club I’m looking to get at least 50 hours by the end of the year, hopefully more!

Q- If you could say two sentences to the NAHS student body, encouraging them to do community service, what would they be?

A- Community service doesn’t have to be the cliché, college-application-worthy burden that everyone makes it out to be. There are so many ways to get involved in the community and it really is a great feeling to play a part in your community.

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