Freshmen experience their first Day of Service


Abbie Zensen

Writing messages about how to include everyone, freshmen Tre Bell and Ethan McLeod write a note about what they will do to inspire change in the community. “I never really thought about everything that happens around me. I really have just been worried about myself, but I realized other people go through a harder time then I do. Now I am going to try help around and be a better person in the community,” Bell said

For the second annual Day of Service, the upperclassmen went off campus to give back to the community, while the freshmen class remained on campus and participated in three sessions of their choice, as well as Vivian’s Pledge.  

The freshmen choose from 15 different speaker sessions to attend throughout the day. Freshmen Eva Frankum attended Kindness Rocks, St. Louis Animal Control and Best Buddies.

“Kindness Rocks was really fun and relaxing. I really like animals and wanted to learn more about them,” Frankum said. “I thought that it would be pretty interesting, and I don’t really know that much about special needs and disabilities. My cousin has special needs so I thought I could learn more about what his life is like.”

Each organization on campus was asked to do a hands-on activity with the students. Project Linus had the students make blankets, Kindness Rocks had students paint rocks for the school garden, Hanger Prosthetics had students try on prosthetics and the International Institute made signs and coloring books for incoming immigrants.

“My favorite part was the St. Louis Animal Control because I got to pet the dogs, make dog toys and learn new things about animals. It was the most hands-on, which kept me intrigued,” Frankum said. “I also learned the dangers of feeding human food to dogs without doing research, this opened my eyes to what I am feeding my dogs sometimes; I am going to be more careful about that.”   

Each Freshman attended a session titled Vivian’s Pledge. The goal was to educate the class about the non-negotiable community pledge, and then create a banner which will hang in the junior/senior locker bay.

“My favorite part of today was watching everybody work together to create the Vivian’s Pledge banner that the whole grade can look back on. I feel like people usually wouldn’t think about doing anything like this,” freshman Mallory Stirrat said. “During the International Institute, I saw that people come into our country with literally nothing and we have so much compared to them. It showed me that we have a lot to be grateful for. It just helped me realized that we are privileged and that most people don’t get what we get.”

The CEO of We Dine Together, Denis Estimon, started and ended the day with a school-wide assembly. He shared lessons about “who we want to become” and “how we wanted to be remembered.”

“Denis Estimon was pretty motivational and hit a lot of people to the heart,” freshman Josh Rollins said. “It was an amazing takeaway.”