Buffalo Island Central High School – Outstanding Volunteer Youth Group

Photography by Rett Peek | Shot on location at the UA Little Rock Windgate Center of Art + Design

   The EAST initiative at the Buffalo Island Central High School represents innovative learning, Education Accelerated by Service and Technology, that reflects a visionary approach to curriculum with measurable results. EAST Facilitator Jill Sanders explains, “EAST empowers students to become lifelong learners and to be passionate about community service. I love to see students achieve goals that they thought were beyond their wildest dreams.”

   At Buffalo Island Central High School, EAST students develop tactical + practical skills through training, teamwork and related community projects. It’s a combination of volunteerism and strategic partnerships throughout the town of Monette that introduces the next generation of business and civic leaders to the transformative power of philanthropy. Rosalinda elaborates, “It is the voluntary work that is key. Always thinking about helping others, helping the community and beyond. It benefits us and the people among us.”

   The students created a website for the town of Monette, encouraging greater connectivity and conversation among constituents. The fun and interactive exhibits at Buffalo Island Museum developed by the students have increased interest at the museum. Makayla notes, “I love to help people and EAST has just given me more innovative ways to help people around me.” And at Monette Manor, a long-term care facility, the Adopt a Grandfriend Project enriches the lives of the residents through relationship building that otherwise would not exist. Jill believes this kind of fellowship is a vision for a future that is more thoughtful and compassionate. “Volunteering and serving others is a great way for students to build life skills and develop empathy for others.” Chareigan adds, “There is too much going on in this world and everyone needs a little help. Volunteering can go a long way. It’s amazing how just a little gift can make a world of difference to a community or a person.”

Makayla Bolster – senior | Rosalinda Vasquez – junior | Chareigan Davis – senior

Inviting Arkansas

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