Students volunteer time, effort for local residents

ROCHELLE — “We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” — Nelson Mandela

Every year a group of Rochelle Township High School students spend their Saturday morning raking leaves and doing outdoor chores for those in the community who are unable to.

As part of “Make a Difference Day,” which began in 1992 nationally, students across the country dedicate several hours on the fourth Saturday in October to provide service that impacts their community. This year in Rochelle, 105 RTHS students and five staff members participated in the event, with small groups helping at several different homes throughout the community.

Erin Bergeson, advisor for the RTHS Student Council, explained student council is responsible for organizing and executing the event each year. She also said the student council drafted students from other clubs as well, helping to make a greater impact on the community.

The student council executive board consists of Katherine Bakken, treasurer; Becca Bunger, secretary; Sarena Abdallah, vice president; and Kanaan Childers, president.

Britney Salinas, Tara Leininger, Jenna Watson, and Olivia Ramos comprise the Make a Difference Day committee chairpersons.

“We had an excellent turnout this year for Make a Difference Day,” Bergeson said. “A huge round of applause goes out to the Student Council Executive Board. These four students along with the Make a Difference Day committee chairs joined forces to contact job sites, publicize our event, and organize each and every detail that goes into this amazing event.”

Each year, Bergeson said a quote is selected to reflect the day’s mission with this year’s from author Rick Warren.

“When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time,” as penned by author Rick Warren.

“I truly could not be more proud of this exceptional group of RTHS students! They get it,” Bergeson beamed. “They understand that there is a world out there beyond ourselves and YOU can choose to make a difference each and every day!”


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