Ayliana Moehling, a Perrysburg High School senior, is changing her community for the better this October. Moehling, with the help of a few student leaders and administrators, has organized a day dedicated to the senior class going out into the community to provide volunteer services to local organizations.
“Not only [is it] just making me feel good by giving back, but [it’s] also changing someone else’s life in ways that I never thought was possible,” Moehling said.
The motivation to start this program came from a heartwarming experience Moehling had while volunteering at a senior living home during a summer camp she attended. “Two summers ago I took this leadership camp, and I volunteered and it really just kinda changed my perspective on how much it can impact someone’s life. So I helped this lady at a nursing home, and she was just completely overjoyed by how much I helped her and by how much happiness I brought her. I never really looked at that — at volunteering in that way — and I realized that I want to get everyone involved because if I can make this big of a change, how big of a change can this whole entire grade make.”
Initiating and implementing “Jackets Giving Back” was an accomplishment requiring help. Moehling received help from Perrysburg alumna Jenny Schaller in molding and shaping the program. Perrysburg High School junior Betsy Wagner and Perrysburg superintendent Tom Hosler joined in to make Moehling’s aspirations possible.
“My involvement in Jackets Giving Back has been to help contact volunteer sites to see if they are interested in hosting our students in order to help. Also, because I am a junior, I will be able to help run it next year and know help to pass it down for the years to come,” said Wagner.
In addition to contacting volunteer sites, Hosler said that he “[has been] the liaison between the district and the students. I have listened to the students’ ideas and have worked with key district staff members like Mrs. Hannah Marchetto in getting the day planned.”
So far, the program has received positive feedback from the senior class. One senior, Emma Baumgartner said, “I think it’s really really nice that Perrysburg is going to be doing this… It shows kids what it’s like to volunteer for those who’ve never volunteered, and I think it really encourages people to support an organization more depending on where they’re volunteering… volunteering is easy and it feels good when you’re doing it.”
Sydney Meade, another senior, said “Overall I think that it’s a really good thing. I think that kids in high school only volunteer for college stuff, and I think a lot of them don’t even think about that they’re really impacting people and animals. They’re helping their community, so I think a day where students go out into the community is good for showing that it’s more than just getting into college.”
Lindsay Onest, another senior, added, “I think that it really does maximize the good that students can do, and that’ll carry over in their adult life so they can continue giving back and know that it’s an important thing to do, even when they get older.”
“Being able to give something back or serve is vital to what it means to be human. It is easy for students (and adults) to focus only on themselves. By serving, it causes us to be pushed in a way that allows us to grow,” Tom Hosler said.
The Jackets Giving Back service day will take place Friday, October 20th.
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