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A ray of change

R.A.Y.S.+members+pose+for+a+picture+after+their+first+field+trip+to+Feed+My+Starving+Children.
R.A.Y.S. members pose for a picture after their first field trip to Feed My Starving Children.

R.A.Y.S. members pose for a picture after their first field trip to Feed My Starving Children.

Photo courtesy of Donna Schwan

Photo courtesy of Donna Schwan

R.A.Y.S. members pose for a picture after their first field trip to Feed My Starving Children.

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While this year has sparked a rise in student action and activism, students also find practical ways to impact their communities. Students in R.A.Y.S. live up to the name of Raising Awareness for Youth and Society by doing several service projects a month to give back to their community.

In March, R.A.Y.S., EMPOWER, and Latina Dreamers joined together for the Pine Ridge Reservation feminine hygiene drive. They gathered feminine hygiene products that the middle school and high school girls in the South Dakota reservation would not have had access to otherwise. Not only was the gathering of products a positive outcome but also making the student body more self-aware was a good result.

Photo courtesy of Michele Carlson
R.A.Y.S. members and helpers from Ms. Carlson’s class deliver feminine hygiene products donated for the Pine Reservation Drive to York alum Rosemary Barnds, the club’s connection to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

 

“It’s important that you can give what you are privileged to have to people who don’t,” sophomore board member Abbey Pettineo said. “Having people be aware that people need those items, to be a good human and to do service to your community, it’s important.”

Projects like the Pine Ridge drive are chosen and planned out by the board members. All students are encouraged to contribute, as some ideas for projects come right from the club members as well.

“We talk it over and try to come up with a plan,” sophomore board member Ruby Schwan said. “If it seems like it would work, then we make it happen.”

The club does many different projects, and no meeting is wasted. About four service projects a month are done by R.A.Y.S., so everyone has an opportunity to participate.

“I try to participate as much as possible,” sophomore Mia Sherman said. “Usually every other drive.”

Since R.A.Y.S. is mostly student-run, it is crucial that students are able to volunteer. Although going someplace to volunteer can seem like a lot, there are other options to do service as well. Students can help make cards or work on service projects during the club meetings, which are Friday mornings at 7:05 in room A290.

“It’s easy to help,” sophomore Lauren Marquardt said. “At every meeting you help out.”

Photo courtesy of Ruby Schwan
Students make friendship bracelets at the first meeting of the year.

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About the Writer
Julie Friedman, Staff Reporter

This is Julie Friedman's first year on the York-hi staff. She is a sophomore and is in Mural Club, Key Club, and Science Olympiad. In her precious moments...

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A ray of change