So many chances to volunteer at Wheatland High
Wheatland Union High School has many clubs and opportunities for volunteerism. There are clubs such as the Eco-Friendly Club, the GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) and the FFA (Future Farmers of America). We have chances for volunteerism provided by the BloodSource program, where students may either give blood or help out for the day; the Teen Leadership Council, which is a group created by the Fremont-Rideout Health Group that largely does volunteering for a number of events; and many more. There are also clubs that combine both, such as Key Club.
Many who join these clubs are dedicated to their ideals. Paul Kaiser, a senior and vice president of the Eco-Friendly Club, truly supports what his group stands for. Does he feel they can make a difference? "Yeah, totally, because just getting out to one person is enough," he said. "It can change your life in ways you wouldn't really be able to see, but slowly, you'll start to notice over time that spreading the good word to other people is like spreading a smile: One person gets it, then another and another.
"What we're doing right now is we're in the works with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to try to get up to 30 trees planted all over the school," Paul added.
Michael Bradshaw, a senior and president of our school's FFA, one of the longest-lived groups here, said FFA offers many chances to improve yourself and the world around you: "FFA has a lot of leadership activities, and I was always really shy as a kid. I didn't want to be the shy person anymore; (FFA) definitely helped me become more of a leader.
"Also, every year there is a 'Million Can Food Challenge.' What they do is encourage chapters to (raise) at least a million cans, and whoever does gets a trip to Washington at the end of the year," Michael added. "All these chapters that bring in cans record how many cans they have, and they give that to their local food centers, so it's not only helping them, it's helping the community — and every state in the nation," he said.
Even those clubs that are not centered around volunteerism — and, in fact, that truly have nothing to do with it — still try to do their fair share. CSF is the California Scholarship Federation, a statewide honors society for students who have exceptionally good grades in demanding subjects.
Most students in CSF find it a worthwhile activity because it gives them scholarships and looks very good on college applications. Leonard Lanigan, WUHS teacher and head of the business department, is one of the advisers for this group. He thinks highly of the CSF program: "CSF, to me, is important. It celebrates and gives an opportunity to work together with the very best students in the school.
"We're doing the Cell Phones for Soldiers donation program. Students collect used cell phones; we turn them in for recycling; and, as a result, we get calling cards for military personnel stationed abroad," Lanigan added.
Toni Bailey is a senior at Wheatland Union High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.