What is a high school student doing on the board of a non-profit organization? The local Habitat for Humanity was asked this exact question after they put a high school junior on their board last December in hope of encouraging the youth to become more involved in their community.
Habitat for Humanity is “an ecumenically based, non-profit organization whose Mission Vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
South Lane County’s affiliate, here in Cottage Grove, has sponsored a number of events to make this community a better place to live. Part of its mission is to give the youth a “connection to the community” so that each generation works together, learns from each other and becomes more united. There have been a number of events in the past, such as “Youth Build,” where teens gathered to construct houses for the needy.
However, the Executive Director and Office Manager of Habitat, Linda Oxley, expressed that the board has felt that a better connection with high school students was needed. They believed that putting a student on their board might benefit both the student body and Habitat for Humanity by bringing them closer together.
Thus in the fall of 2011, Habitat sent an announcement to the high school, searching for a student who wished to become involved with them and whose “enthusiasm” would carry over to both their peers and the adult board members. They next sent an interviewer to the interested students, and finally found the perfect fit: Jessica Powell.
When asked why she was interested in helping Habitat, Powell said it was because “Habitat for Humanity helps the youth feel inspired. They realize they can make a difference too.”
Since she joined, Powell has been given more and more responsibility. Most recently in July, she organized a can drive called “You CAN Help Habitat!” They gathered and sorted thousands of cans and bottles, which amounted to more than $1000.
For the complete article see the 10-03-2012 issue.
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