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Rocky Heights Middle School volunteers locally and around the world

By Sophia Bobier, student writer; photos courtesy of Jaidyn Shirley and Julian Bouquet

Photo of children of Ghana with their blessing boxes.

The children of Ghana with their blessing boxes.

Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) is home to many extra-curricular activities. These activities include numerous sports, performing arts, technology and more. There is one club, however, that stands apart from the rest. National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is a group of talented and astute eighth graders.

NJHS is a club that organizes fundraisers for RHMS. The most recent happening NJHS organized was the Sock-tober Sock Drive. Every class collected socks for points; the class with the most points won a party. All the socks from every class were then donated to homeless shelters this winter.

Along with organizing fun events for the school, NJHS students must also help their community by having a minimum of six volunteer hours each semester. Clearly NJHS members are intent on helping their community. Students have volunteered at a variety of places, including Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines and Highlands Ranch; elementary schools like Redstone, Timber Trial and Wildcat; religious centers like Temple Emanuel Religious School, Journey Church and Gesher Jewish Group; and community outreach like Dumb Friends League, Parker Task Force Food Bank and Volunteers of America. To date, the enthusiastic NJHS students have volunteered an estimated 360 hours.

Photo of Betsy Van Auken and Jaidyn Shirley

Betsy Van Auken and Jaidyn Shirley are members of National Junior Honor Society at RHMS.

Jaidyn Shirley is a dedicated NJHS volunteer at Colorado to Ghana. Colorado to Ghana provides essential, everyday things to the people of Ghana, particularly people who have been freed from slavery. Shirley was not old enough to go on a trip to Ghana. She instead made 14 blessing boxes for the children. The experience changed Shirley for the better. “It made my heart joyful. I have learned from this experience that I can make a big impact on the world even from Colorado,” Shirley said. She hopes to continue volunteering with Colorado to Ghana and travel to Ghana in the future.

Another one of NJHS’s devoted and enthusiastic volunteers is Betsy Van Auken. She volunteers at Wind Crest retirement community for senior citizens. At Wind Crest, she engages in activities such as painting nails and doing crafts. She loves volunteering here. Van Auken said, “Volunteering has changed my point of view on how places like these take care of the people living there.”

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