Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy (NDA) is geared towards a more hands-on learning approach for students. The school takes this mindset and applies it to life outside the classroom for students. On March 1, a group of students stepped up to help the community they live in. Science teacher Greg Tucker and students went to MANNA Food Bank for a volunteer opportunity.
“While shaping academically success, hard-working students, we also hope to shape students who are aware of what is happening in their community and willing to use their gifts and expertise to help,” said Mr. Tucker. “At NDA we hope that our students will continue this community outreach on their own upon graduation.”
Seven students from NDA stepped up to the challenge to help their community. They know the importance of volunteering.
“It’s important to help out the community when you can and to help bring some good into the world,” said junior Wheeler Fisher. “It feels really good to help out our community, especially with everything kinda crazy right now.”
This experience helps to shape students for the future. Mr. Tucker says even though the students bagged cereal, they know this small job is going to help many.
“With volunteer opportunities, students gain a sense of pride and accomplishment that they may not get elsewhere,” said Mr. Tucker. “Also, through the comradery of helping strangers in need students form bonds that last for years to come.”
Junior Sydney Selmensberger said she is already looking for more ways to volunteer.
“By volunteering, I am giving back to a community that has given so much to me,” she said. “I created a volunteering organization in my school (the Volunteer Organization for Youth, or VOY). I have been able to explore countless opportunities and extend them to my peers.”
Volunteering has had an impact on Mr. Tucker since he was a student in high school.
“The adolescent high school years are known for being very selfish, and I’m sure I was this way until I was introduced to community service,” he explained. “In my junior and senior years I got involved in Habitat for Humanity. This experience forced me to think about someone other than myself, and it showed me how lucky I was to have the life I had,” he added.
The VOY organization is one that will continue on for years to come at NDA. Mr. Tucker has noticed the impact this has on students.
“Through these numerous high school volunteer opportunities we hope to mold graduates,” he said. “I hope the students become more sensitive to the needs of their community and are actively helpful when they are in the position to do so.”
The impact of this organization has already helped shape one young lady.
“I have come to realize that through helping others, I am discovering myself,” said Sydney. “If I can make a difference in one person’s life, then I have served my purpose.”