Remember the Give a Goat campaign? How about No Kid Hungry? While you may have ended up seeing their logos or hearing about generous efforts to provide families around the world with the everyday necessities that we take for granted, there is a group of students bringing the opportunity for change right to Burlingame High’s halls.
Even though a Jefferson Award banner hangs inconspicuously on the wall of the C Building, the foundation’s presence at the school was not a sufficient platform for volunteerism and leadership appreciation in the past. It wasn’t until Students in Action, which prepares teenagers for national competitions through community service, was formed that leadership took on a different meaning for students at BHS.
The club is rarely idle, because it revolves around “7 pillars, or goals, that the club strives to achieve throughout the year,” according to Rachel Battersby, the former co-president who helps choose the recipients of the Jefferson Awards.
While the club itself is a spearhead of the volunteer efforts made to create international change, Battersby expresses her gratitude for student body participation in general, saying that “SIA impacted the local and international community more than the school as a whole,” and believes that the school was an important part of the club’s efforts. Raising money for specific charities through T-shirt and bake sales and holding canned food and shoe drives are brought to new levels of attention and participation with encouragement from students.
As the club continued volunteering directly at homeless shelters with Innvision Shelter Network, they faced a few obstacles. Both Battersby and treasurer John Kershner agree that reaching out to other service clubs was a challenge. To bridge the gap between other service clubs’ efforts at BHS, the club has decided to solve the problem by finding new, creative ways to spread their message and raise money for their cause.
Kershner says “next year SIA and Interact [Club] will merge into one club because we found there was too much unnecessary competition between them for events and membership.” The SIA Interact Club is combining their efforts to further their reach in the school, and therefore have an international influence that will help them succeed at the Jefferson Awards Competition next year. The co-presidents elected are Edie Artega and Claire Beswick, and the club will continue meeting on Thursdays every week at lunch.