Churchill County High School seniors learn the value of volunteering

Glen Perazzo and Michele Berny seek volunteers for the nonprofit Fallon Theater.

Glen Perazzo and Michele Berny seek volunteers for the nonprofit Fallon Theater.

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The idea of serving one’s community and volunteering with various organizations’ programs is giving Churchill County High School seniors a sense of satisfaction that could extend beyond their school days.

English teachers Monica Fairbanks and Myke Nelsen have required their seniors to complete six hours of volunteering during the fall semester and then write a 5-minute report and present their findings to the class. She said the experience is part of their senior project.

Fairbanks said to be inducted into National Honor Society, students also must show a record of volunteerism.

“It’s sweeping across the board,” she said.

Every year early in the semester, students attend a fair that invites local organizations to hand out information, talk to students and sign up volunteers.

“This is the fruit of the program,” she said about the fair, which was attended by a handful of local groups.

Fairbanks has been working with the program for seven years and Nelsen for nine. Although some students show early resistance to becoming involved as a volunteer, that feeling soon disappears. For most, their desire to help others.

“They continue to volunteer,” Fairbanks said. “It has become such a norm.”

CCHS Dean of Students John Johnson was signing up volunteers to help with the 4-H archery program. He said the opportunities to mentor and work with younger children has its rewards.

Terra Koenig sat at one of the tables with information for the JustService program. She said schools, government agencies, churches and nonprofit organizations always need volunteers.

For high school students or interested community members, she said the JustService website shows the number of volunteer opportunities available in the community.

Davis Benecke talked with Koenig about volunteer opportunities. The Fallon senior has been involved as a volunteer for the Fallon Daily Bread program through his church.

“Volunteering is always incredibly important,” he said.

Benecke said people should volunteer because it affects others with their deeds.

Jordan Ernst and Becca Rosas answered questions about the Churchill Community Coalition. They were working for volunteers who would help with their annual Color Run and family day. Rosas said the coalition needs help with graphics, writing radio ads and designing flyers for outreach.

“We’re looking for volunteers who enjoy being out and about,” Rosas said.

Senior Jase Kroll stopped by the coalition table and signed up to help with the Color Run.

“This is a first for me,” he said about volunteering. “It’s a good idea for seniors.”

Kroll said helping others is always needed, and he will continue to do so.

“There are opportunities to volunteer during college and after college,” he said.

Leilani Outafi said she’s volunteering at the William N. Pennington Life Center (senior citizens) this fall and is looking forward to it. She said helping others or organizations will also help after college.


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