Article by Ashlyn Ollenberger, Queens Grant High School
Queen’s Grant High School Youth Commissions International Club volunteered at Special Olympics this past January, just one of many instances where they impacted the community.
Queen’s Grant YCI Club, was founded in 2011 by freshman Brandon Moore. The Christian youth group has grown ever since and has become extremely popular with more than 40 students attending regularly. The club meets every Wednesday at 7:15 to have breakfast, play games, and hear from student or guest speakers.
All club meetings are student-led and adult supported. Student leaders organize, plan, and execute club meetings and activities. Administrators, teachers, and local pastors support the students and help provide an organizational framework for the club.
Sheri Braswell became a sponsor for QGHS YCI Club in 2014 when she started working for the school. “This was our fourth year volunteering for the Special Olympics. The first year our students volunteered was in 2014 and the YCI Club students did such an amazing job they asked us to come back,” says Braswell.
“I love seeing the Special Olympics athletes that are so excited to be there! I love to encourage them and how they respond like they have known you forever,” she says. “I love to encourage each one and tell them how great they are and how excited we are to be there with them!”
Braswell goes on to talk about how easy it is to volunteer with such kind-hearted kids. “To be able to share in their joy in getting medals and recognition of doing their best is an experience I will not forget!”
Olivia Ramos, a junior at Queens Grant High School and YCI student leader, says, “It’s just fascinating to see all these people devoted to helping these kids!” When asked what she enjoys most about going to Special Olympics she says, “Getting to see all the smiles on the kids’ faces!”
Ramos goes on to talk about how great it is to volunteer in a community that doesn’t get reached out to often. Ramos also shared how Special Olympics has impacted her life by seeing different perspectives of people and understanding how different people live their lives.
Queen’s Grant YCI Club volunteers for several different organizations. This past December, YCI packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. They have also visited an Independent Living Community and tutored at an afterschool program for refugee students. As a school club, YCI has also volunteered around campus by participating in beautification days, where they plant trees and flowers around the school. They also help clean teachers’ classrooms and serve breakfast for their teachers and staff each year.
“YCI Club tries to make a difference at our school by our YCI students setting an example of showing that they are different by having a Christ-like manner,” says Braswell. The YCI Club at Queen’s Grant continues to impact their community, planning more volunteering opportunities for their students to spread the love of God to others.