Developing community leaders can take many different forms. At Summit Olympus High School in Tacoma, students learn leadership skills like public speaking and teamwork and also have the opportunity to learn leadership skills through a strong tradition of volunteerism.
Madeline Diaz is one of the first people you see when you walk through the doors at Summit Olympus High School. Ms. Diaz joined the Summit Olympus faculty recently as the office assistant after serving 22 years in the U.S. Army as a healthcare specialist, where she was last stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McCord. One of the things she enjoyed most while serving in the military was volunteering at Nourish Pierce County, a South Sound food bank. She brought an idea of a food drive to help Nourish Pierce County to a group of active Olympus students.
“There are students and families in the Tacoma community that rely on food banks,” said Ms. Diaz. “We all have different experiences and sometimes there are people in our community that need help. The students are learning that they can do a lot to help their fellow students and families.”
With Ms. Diaz’s support, four student volunteers placed posters and bins around the school and spread the word to their classmates and the school community. They tracked the amount of donations and coordinated messages to families. These students were also responsible for delivering the donations to Nourish Pierce County. Along with learning teamwork and organizational skills, the food drive also gave students the opportunity to get to know each other and strengthen their bonds as peers.
After just two weeks, the students collected more than 80 non-perishable food items to donate to Nourish Pierce County. They are really excited about the results and plan to make it a bi-yearly event with two drives per school year.
“It was really exciting to see the school rally around to support a common goal, giving back,” exclaimed Ms. Diaz. “I’m excited that I can use the skills I learned in the army to help students and the community. We can all come together and help take care of each other and help Tacoma’s students accomplish their goals.”
Do you want to learn more about how our students connect with the Tacoma community? Schedule a school visit or learn more about Summit Olympus today!
Have you ever been involved with a food drive? Tell us below!