Service for heart

Student advocates making a difference


Ms. Sano

A police station in Nicarauga



More often than not students want to engage and make a change within their community. We see many examples of this in student-led protests in the press today, such as the Parkland students who have used their voices and courage to push for gun reform and progress within in our society.

Another example is Greta Thunberg, who at age 15 began attempting to combat climate change outside the Swedish parliament and has since become an avid climate activist. These students are not only pushing for change within their communities but for positive changes throughout the country and world.

At HWRHS there are opportunities to make these changes within our community, as well as nationally, and globally. The Environmental Club and Interact are just two of the clubs that HWRHS offer for students aspiring to make a difference in their community.

Interact is a club that gives students opportunities to participate in events that are catered to helping the local community.  The Buker Elementary School has an Early Act Club for younger students and once you leave high school you can join Rotary for ages 18-30.

Interact can open up students to amazing experiences and volunteering opportunities. They work on service locally, nationally and globally. The Interact Club started many volunteering opportunities that we now know and love. Some on the long list of activities include The Turkey Drive for Acord, Toy Drives for Toys for Tots and participating in the community Giving Tree in Boxford.

Many students become interested in Interact because they truly believe in service above self. Interact’s teacher advisor, Ms.Sano, says: “Doing service, volunteering, makes me feel better and working with students in service projects has always given me a great sense of satisfaction and pride.” The club has long been in existence at HWRHS well before Ms.Sano took it over around 2009.  Before Ms. Sano took it used to be run by Mr. Blanchard, a Rotarian and former Wenham Fire Chief.

Michelle Morency, the clubs coordinator said: “ The first is that the school has gotten much more involved in the #HW gives back initiative, which is great, but I think interact has gotten a little lost in the mix. Also, our leader, Ms. Sano works in the middle school now, so she cannot attend our meetings so that’s tough because she’s definitely the driving force of the club. The time of the meeting also changed to Wednesday powerblock instead of Thursday morning because people were having trouble getting up that early in the morning, but people have a lot of conflicts Wednesday powerblock too. I also think that Interact has had a lack of advertising. The school doesn’t have a lack of motivation towards service, I think that they have just directed it towards another means, and personally I think that Interacts best course of action would to be to work in conjunction with DECA and Student Council in terms of school service project instead of working as a separate entity on separate projects.”

When Ms.Sano took it over the club was very small.  With a few students from her homeroom and a desire to help a very poor community in Granada and Granada they rebuilt the community. The club then grew in popularity, going from less than 10 students to over 100.  Since then the club has greatly diminished in size; now with only seven members.

Interact has been known for its ability to change communities, whether its local national or abroad. Whether it means working with DECA on HW gives back and collaborating with different clubs or advertising more around the school this is a club worth saving.

Another club at HWRHS thats main focus is on service is the Environmental Club. Both Interact and the Environmental Club spotlight issues in the community and beyond. With environmental issues so prominent in the news and society, this club is more important than ever and has the power to impact our community.

The Environment gives students that are passionate about saving the planet and stopping climate change a place to work with likeminded people to reach their goal. Ms. Petrucci the 6-12 wellness coordinator, has helped exponentially with this club, focusing on learning and spreading awareness about ways we can reduce our carbon footprint, clean up the environment, and become a healthier community. During the meetings, members take action by educating the community, sponsoring speaker sessions, and partaking in activities that make strides towards a cleaner earth.

Looking forward, the Environmental Club is planning on cleaning up and starting the outdoor school garden, as well as using the hydroponic garden in the cafeteria. They hope the new community school garden will add to the schools green spirit. Projects like these will be a positive contribution to the school and encourage others to be more environmentally conscience.

This empowering club is run by President Kate Rubel, Vice President Nidih Pillai, and their faculty leader, Ms. Petrucci. The Environmental Club welcomes anyone and are always looking for more student activists to join the fight for environmental change.

Every day you hear new statics about how climate change is affecting the world and things we can do to stop it. For example, NASA says that the average surface temperature rose about 1.62 degrees since the late 19th century as a result of climate change. This club is the perfect outlet for ideas that can spread throughout the school and further to make a difference.

Everyone says he wants to make a difference and help others, but through these clubs students are actually able to make a positive impact on our community. Also these clubs give students the opportunity to work as a team to better themselves and our town.