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Highland’s Servant Leaders complete community service project

High school students pose with personal item donations

Highland’s Servant Leadership students got creative with their Summer Serve program by having a fewer number of area high school students come together.

While practicing safety precautions, on June 11 at Highland Community College, they partnered with United Way of Northwest Illinois and the Regional Office of Education to identify needs within the community for those people affected by COVID-19.

Less than 10 students, their coordinator, and Connie Kraft, executive director for United Way of Northwest Illinois, worked together to package hygiene and other food items for the students and elderly safe at home during the pandemic.

Kraft received a grant to buy the items given to elderly people with “high needs.”

“It’s always great to get involved with our area youth, and I am always amazed with how involved many of our youth are,” Kraft said. “This is our third year to work with Servant Leadership students. We collected senior care packages, and food items for people in Stephenson County.”

The High School Servant Leadership program consists of student representatives from more than 14 area high schools within the Highland district. Each student learns leadership skills within a servant-first methodology. Each participant attends monthly Saturday morning meetings at Highland Community College in addition to leading individual, team, and regional based service projects. These students go above and beyond in not only their own personal development but also for service to their fellow community members.

Dan Dick, coordinator for the Highland Servant Leadership program, said, “It’s inspiring seeing these young people come together from across the region to support their communities. The students who helped today are clear examples of what it means to be Servant Leaders. We’re very fortunate to have them as part of Highland’s program.”

 Photo: Addison Roberts (Lena), Allyson Milder (Lena), MaKayla Ruttman (Pearl City, Natatlie Johnson (Forreston), and Abigile Berrer (Forreston) put items together to be given to elderly individuals with a high need for help during the COVID-19 pandemic at Highland Community College in Freeport.