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Student 2 Student is creating leaders

Christine Kuklica
ckuklica@lahontanvalleynews.com

S2S presents Hollywood CCHS talent show

Friday at 7 p.m. in the CCHS auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a movie clip show. Tickets are $2 for seniors and children, $3 for students and $5 for adults.

Churchill County High School is revamping its Student 2 Student program to help those who have just transferred to the district.

Amber Stein, Churchill County High School and school district librarian and S2S club adviser, said the program is designed to help change a transitioning student’s focal point from what the student has lost to what the student will gain through relocation.

“S2S guides students through their uncertain surroundings, offering from a peer viewpoint, valued information, friendships and assistance in the three areas that matter most to transitioning students — finding their way, relationships and academics,” she said.

S2S’s vision is to serve as a model of positive leadership and advocacy for ensuring inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children, Stein said, and its mission is to ensure inclusive, quality educational experiences for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation and transition.

“It is an international group, as our military families travel all over the globe, but each club is run based on the local needs of the group,” Stein said. “Our specific aims at the high school are for S2S students to be available to show new transitioning students to each of their classes, to be there to have lunch with (every day, not just the first day they get there), to be a welcoming club in a new school, which can be scary.”

CCHS senior Joonas Hakamäki, S2S president, is also an exchange student from Espoo, Finland.

“As an exchange student, I have gone through the challenges of entering a new school and because my own experience was positive and the transition was easy, I want to make sure that others have the same kind of an experience,” Hakamaki said. “The knowledge that other students have about the school and community is extremely important when you come to a new place and do not know anyone. Being part of S2S also gives them the opportunity to do various volunteer events and learn leadership skills.”

Stein said S2S also focuses heavily on community service, and that includes having served dinner at Our Daily Bread, run a Thanksgiving food drive and conduct a Christmas drive for the Senior Center, collecting nonglamorous but much-needed items such as new toothbrushes and paste, soap and shampoo, and other toiletries.

She said S2S’s next big project is tonight’s talent show at the high school, with prize money for the top three winners, $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third.

“The talent show is a fundraiser to raise money for senior college scholarships,” she said. “Eligible seniors must participate in the S2S club for at least two years. I would love to give our seniors a decent scholarship that pays for more than a few textbooks- something that would actually help with their tuition.”

Stein said she has asked several businesses around town both for scholarship money and donations for the raffle drawing that will take place at the talent show.

“Every little bit helps,” she said. “We have quite a few seniors this year, and as with most kids in this area, they don’t have much extra money for college.”

Kimberly Arthur, school liaison officer at Naval Air Station Fallon, said she is glad the program is getting revamped and that it’s doing as well as it is.

“This program is great for students transferring into the school, whether the students come from a military home or from another district,” she said. “This program is helping a lot of students and it’s so great so see the students in a leadership role. These students are amazing.”