Paying it Forward

Ambassador Club students at Ottawa Hills High School (OHHS) showed some love to a kindergarten class at Shawnee Park Elementary School on Valentine’s Day, and again just before spring break. The Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders (GRIL) OHHS students read books to Shawnee Park students (one on one and in small groups) and also completed an art project with their new elementary friends. They are paired with the same students, and will meet with them two to three more times before the end of the year.

GRIL provides leadership development to teens, youth workers and other community leaders – its mission is “strengthening leaders to transform communities.” The OHHS Ambassador Club participants, chosen by school staff, attend two trainings each week for the full school year to grow as leaders while impacting their school. The teens also commit to several community service projects throughout the year to give back to their community.

When our Ambassador Club students were asked, “What was this experience like for you?” they responded:

“I actually did really love these experiences because it teaches me a lot about kids, AND myself,” says Kabrea. “It helps me realize how much patience I have and build more.”

“My experience here again was fantastic!” says Greg. “I really enjoyed reading to my boys. They really paid attention and loved reading and reading to me. I loved the art project we had.”

“Before I went into the room full of students I can’t lie I was very nervous,,” Sam shares. “But when I met [the boys] they were talkative which made me feel very mellow. They asked me how I played football. They even told me they could beat me in football. So next time we come I wanna play football, and also basketball with my boys.”

“The thing I learned from this is patience. I also learned how to take good care of the children,” Samiera says. I” loved it here and I love the children I was with.”

More info:  Read this article on The Rapidian