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Mia Sherman – a ray in the clouds

Mia+Sherman+and+Ruby+Schwan+dropping+off+the+craft+cart+at+Dupage+Hospital+for+the+completion+of+their+silver+award.
Mia Sherman and Ruby Schwan dropping off the craft cart at Dupage Hospital for the completion of their silver award.

Mia Sherman and Ruby Schwan dropping off the craft cart at Dupage Hospital for the completion of their silver award.

Caren Sherman

Caren Sherman

Mia Sherman and Ruby Schwan dropping off the craft cart at Dupage Hospital for the completion of their silver award.

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Throughout the past two years, sophomore Mia Sherman has become well-known for being a positive and enthusiastic participant in the mostly student-run service club, RAYS, which offers students a plethora of opportunities to help out the community. Some of Sherman’s favorite memories of the club are making cards and blankets for children in hospitals or toys for dogs in shelters.

“The club itself is really fun,” Sherman said. “Just being there and doing things is an amazing way of helping out the community in a very simple way. [It’s] only 20 minutes every Friday morning and it really does help a lot of people out.”

Sherman participates in the majority of the activities that RAYS introduces, with a meeting every Friday morning, she has been a constant and active club member for a couple of years.

“Mia is always there to help out with RAYS: whether that be coming up with an idea or volunteering to take on a job outside of our weekly meetings.” said sophomore board member Ruby Schwan. “I can’t even remember the last time she didn’t come to a RAYS meeting or event. She’s definitely one of our go-to members whenever we need help with anything.”

Not only is Sherman widely known throughout RAYS for being a vital part of the club with her impeccable attendance, but she also contributes to the very feeling of the club itself.

“She always comes with a positive attitude and never fails to make anyone laugh,” sophomore board member Abbey Pettineo said. “While she is still serious about getting the in-club service projects done.”

In addition to being a valued presence in the club, Sherman also contributes her sense of humor into every meeting. She helps to create a fun atmosphere that club members are happy to be in.

“I think Mia is overall very fun to work with and talk to,” sophomore Julia Brandt said. “She contributes her amazing humor and demonstrates outstanding leadership at every trip we go on.”

Fellow club members Lauren Marquardt and Ashley Homan, both sophomores, reiterate how enjoyable Sherman is during meetings and on trips outside of school.

“Mia is one of the most dedicated RAYS members. She’s there early every single Friday and makes everyone laugh,” sophomore Lauren Marquardt said. “On outings, she’s very focused and yet she has fun on every single trip.”

Sherman’s upbeat and helpful attitude translates into both the service projects that RAYS does and into regular club meetings.

“She usually knows what’s going on,” said Homan. “And [she] is happy to share and let us [club members] know.”

However, Sherman’s helpful presence in the community didn’t just start with RAYS. In 2016, she and Schwan were finishing up their service project for the silver award in girl scouts, which is the highest award for girl scouts in middle school. This was no small feat, as the award required 50 hours per person who participated and it had to make a lasting difference in the community. This resulted in a grand total of 100 hours between both Sherman and Schwan. They decided to make their impact through making a craft cart for children in the pediatric cancer unit at the Northwestern Medicine Central Dupage Hospital in Winfield. The craft cart is fully equipped with markers, crayons, coloring sheets, building materials, and paints, all of which was gathered by collecting people’s donations of craft supplies from the community.

Caren Sherman
Mia Sherman and Ruby Schwan dropping off the craft cart at Dupage Hospital for the completion of their silver award.

“It all sort of originated in girl scouts in kindergarten as service projects,” Sherman said. “It has only grown to be bigger and better things like RAYS or projects outside of school.”

People don’t even have to do such large projects as the craft cart to make a difference. Just going to a service club meeting at RAYS or any other volunteering organization or club is enough to start helping out the community. Doing simple things like writing cards for hospital patients or going to Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit organization in which volunteers package food for children in developing countries, helps to create a difference.

Photo courtesy of RAYS
Mia Sherman and other RAYS members on their second service trip to Feed My Starving Children.

“Come up with your own ideas and actively participate within society because that is the only way that change can ever be made,” Sherman said.  

The main influencer and driver behind Sherman’s continued service to trying to improve the community comes from her desire to make a positive change, even if it’s a small one.

“Knowing that I have a say in how the community functions is amazing,” Sherman said. “Because I can change that.”

All in all, Sherman has a positive impact whenever and wherever she goes. She helps to influence her fellow club members to help out the community by participating both within RAYS itself and outside of school.

“She is incredibly hard working and loves to help out,” Pettineo said. “It’s contagious!”

Michele Carlson
RAYS members pose for the yearbook picture

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