Student Spotlight Archive
A Little Bit of Laughter
PSL volunteers Ashtin Chorba '20 and Dylan Oberlin '20 are making a difference - and making folks laugh - as they serve at the Madison Senior Center. From playing pool with clients, to decorating for Halloween, these volunteers are building relationships that connect seniors in high school and senior citizens in our community.
Learning and Serving
PSL student Emily Neuhofs '20 traveled with six of her classmates to Cincinnati this fall to serve in an urban soup kitchen and after school program. She and her classmates also attended the Service Learning Workshop at the University of Cincinnati in an effort to bring back new ideas for service projects she hopes to implement this year. In addition to the time she invested during this trip, Emily also volunteers weekly at TriPoint Medical Center.
Baking Cookies and Making Connections with Seniors at Governor's Pointe in Mentor
PSL volunteers Patrick Noonan '19 and Mandi Schueren '19 created a new service placement for PSL students by intitating a connection with Governor's Pointe, a senior living community in Mentor OH. Patrick and Mandi host a variety of activities each Sunday, providing the senior residents with opportunities bake cookies, participate in crafts, and build connections with each other.
Sharing Stories and Making Connections at the Madison Senior Center
The Madison Senior Center has been welcoming PSL students for more than a decade, and Class of 2019 volunteers Jake Reid, Angela Vicini, and Spencer Kane are continuing the tradition of serving senior citizens in our neighboring community. In addition to helping with special events and holiday parties, these PSL volunteers focus on building relationships with their elders. Director Carol Billetter complimented their efforts to connect with her senior center members, commenting that the students can often be found sharing stories with those who appreciate conversations with a younger generation.
Cooking up Meals at Karpos
Every Monday afternoon, a carload of PSL volunteers arrives at Karpos, a meal ministry program in downtown Painesville. These volunteers assist in meeting the basic needs of people experiencing poverty by preparing and serving wholesome meals alongside volunteers from St. James Church. PSL volunteers during the 2018-2019 school year include Mikayla Habina '18, Casandra Warfield '18, Josh Kailburn '18, and Glenn Robinson '18.
Paving the Road to Recovery
Seniors Helping Seniors
Cody Baranauskas '18 and Tyler Horvath '18 are heading up the Seniors Helping Seniors program for the 2017-18 school year. Under their leadership, the program has grown to include three clients who they regularly see to perform light home maintenance and serve as friendly visitors. If you or someone you know would benefit from this service please complete an application today.
A Caring Environment for Cats
Kayli Aker, '17 has always had a connection with animals. A member of the Lake County 4-H Club and a former intern at a local veterinary clinic, Kayli knew she wanted to care for cats and dogs as part of her PSL experience. She reached out to Holy Cat Whiskers, a stray and feral cat rescue located in Madison. In addition to creating an experience that will prepare her for a future career caring for animals, Kayli's efforts also introduced the PSL Program to a new partner agency.
Far From Home in Haiti
Hannah Minor '16, spent part of her winter break far from home. Along with her mother, Hannah traveled to Haiti to participate in an extended service experience. During her time abroad, Hannah engaged in service opportunities that met local needs, and built relationships with community members of all ages. Hannah is also encouraging others to support US legislation that could help alleviate poverty in countries like Haiti. Click here for more details.
From Preschool to Neuroscience
It might look like child's play, but the work PSL volunteer Olivia Romeo '16 engages in at Fairport Harbor Preschool is important to both her, and the students she serves. The children learn about patterns and repetition through the use of manipulatives, and Olivia gains a deeper understanding of cognitive development in young learners. This experience will help Olivia as she prepares to study neuroscience at Bowling Green State University in the fall of 2016.
PSL Students Assist with Animal Care at Lake Humane Society
Connor VanDeweel, class of '16, assists with animal care and daily maintenance at Lake Humane Society in Mentor, Ohio. Although just 3 hours/week of service are required, Connor routinely volunteers 6 hours/week or more. He is pictured with Sammy, a year old miniature/mix poodle in need of a home. To adopt and learn more please click here.
PSL students harvest potatoes for the Perry Center with 3rd graders
Students from the class of 2016 teamed up with Mrs. Perry's and Mrs. Pietra-Freeman's third graders to harvest potatoes from the PHS Giving Garden. Nearly 200 lbs. of potatoes were harvested and donated to the Perry Center which offers food and other assistance to community members in need.
Volunteers offer Madison Senior Center members tech help
Ben Prucey, Joe D'Abate, Hunter Reid, and Brady Toth, class of '16, spend every Tuesday and Thursday serving at the Madison Senior Center. In addition to assisting with crafts and general maintenance, the fab four also assist members with their technology needs.
The Madison Senior Center has been a partner agency of the PSL program since 2009.
The Madison Senior Center has been a partner agency of the PSL program since 2009.
Renee Carlon, Seth Cales, and Akin Patel spent the 2014-15 school year establishing a new service connection for PSL students at Crossroads Hospice. As teen volunteers, the trio provided companionship to patients at local nursing homes and performed work at the main office in Mentor.
Jacob Stipich spent the 2014-15 school year working individually and in small groups with students in the 3rd grade at Elm Street Elementary in Painesville.
On March 2nd, Ryan Kahoun, Brandon Truhn, Veronica Bernal-Ramirez, and Dustin Gilbert traveled to the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities Willoughby Workshop to share Dr. Seuss books with individuals in habilitation groups as part of Read Across America Day. The trip also afforded students the opportunity to see how Deepwood Industries provides meaningful work to people with special needs and valuable service to local businesses.
Kenzie Bort, class of '15, engages the therapeutic power of horses to discover and nurture the special abilities of individuals at Fieldstone Farm and Therapeutic Riding Center in Geauga County.
As part of their service at the Madison Senior Center, PSL students Brian Blake '15, Matt Leiden '15, and Ian Mayher '15 work almost as hard as they play. They facilitate weekly bingo games, organize recreational activities, and help Director Carol Billetter with day-to-day operations that the support nearly 400 senior citizens in eastern Lake County. Because the Madison Senior Center is a congregate lunch site for Meals on Wheels, they also help provide daily lunches for members.
PSL student Kendal Novak ’15 is a classroom expert when it comes to engaging with students that have special needs. She has spent the past six months serving 4th graders at Summit Academy, a non-profit community school for alternative learners. Kendal’s experiences are helping our class better understand the experiences of students with AD/HD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and related disorders as we study Topics in Special Education.
MJ Reed is one of three PSL students volunteering at the Lake County Humane Society this year. His duties include assisting the staff with the daily care of the animals housed in the facility, including cage cleaning, feeding, and general housekeeping. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteer at the Lake County Humane society please complete an application.
The Block 6 Perry Service Learning Class '15 worked with the Perry Center to collect Adopt-A-Family and Toys for Tots donations and prepare them for distribution to local families in need. The creation of the Center for Civic Engagement at Manchester West has resulted in additional opportunities for collaboration between PSL students and The Perry Center.
Matt Ziamba '15 and Jake Vicini '15 managed the PHS Giving Garden this Fall. With the help of students from PES third grade classrooms, Matt and Jake harvested several hundred pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, Red Pontiac potatoes, and sweet potatoes to donate to The Perry Center. The dynamic duo also cleared out the planting beds before winter and installed pavers at the entrance to the garden shed. The garden will re-open on the 4th Saturday in April as part of the annual Community Green Day activities.
On Friday, November 7th, PSL students volunteered to clean out the historic Lorimer House in Perry Township. Located on Perry Park Road near the Perry Community Center, this property overlooks Lake Erie and is one of the oldest buildings in Perry. Perry Township owns the property and hopes to lease it to a developer. Special thanks to Ian Mayher, Matt Leiden, Brian Blake, Jordan McMullen, Anthony Lacare, Dustin Gilbert, Mariah Holwick, Duncan Welch, Travis Kolesar, and Miguel Espinoza for their help with this endeavor.
Lexi Holland, '14 received the Mayerson Foundation Book Award at the PHS Senior Breakfast. This award is given annually to recognize the extraordinary contributions to service of one PSL student. Lexi accumulated over 100 hours of service by serving at Emeritus of Mentor where she painted residents nails on Sundays and assisted residents on shopping trips on Tuesdays. She also particpated in the Cincinnati Urban Plunge and planned the annual Emeritus prom fashion show in May. Lexi will attend the University of Cincinnati where she hopes to obtain a degree in business. For a complete list of previous award winners, please click here.
May 2014: PSL student recognized by The Perry Center
Jasmin Porras-Villanueva, '14 was recognized at the Perry Center's annual volunteer recognition dinner for her commitment to serving the hungry in our community. According to vice chairman Art Buser (pictured with Jasmin ), she has worked hard to help connect the Hispanic community with the services provided at the Perry Center by offering translation services for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity.
March 2014: PSL students participate in first annual Mardi Gras celebration
PSL students, including Zach Horvath, '14, helped develop activities for students who participated in Perry High School's first annual Mardi Gras celebration. Zach serves in the equine department of the Lake Metroparks' Farmpark where he grooms and walks horses and works in the stables. During the Mardi Gras party for students with special needs, Zach and classmate Mark Reid, '14 brought in chickens to the PHS Cross Categorical Unit's Mardi Gras party for students with special needs. In addition to teaching our guests about their feathered friends, Zach and Mark used the chickens to create opportunities for positive social interactions.
January 2014: PSL students initiate Tech Tuesday program at senior center
PSL is represented by Colin Dees, '14, Troy Kifer, '14, and Joey Velecheck, '14 at the Madison Senior Center. The terrific trio worked with the center's director to initiate a new Tech Tuesday program to assist members with questions they have about cell phones, tablets, cameras, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The students are also responsible for setting up for special events, serving lunches, and facilitating recreational activities.
December 2013: Clothe-A-Child names Summer Sigl volunteer of the week
Summer Sigl, '14 is fulfilling her PSL volunteer requirement at Clothe-A-Child, an organization serving children in need from Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties. In October, Summer teamed up with four members of the Perry Local Schools staff to shop with children for new clothes and shoes. In December, Clothe-A-Child names Summer the volunteer of the week. Although this is just the first year that PSL has partnered with Clothe-A-Child, it is already becoming a popular volunteer location. Learn more by liking Clothe-A-Child on facebook.
November 2013: Hospice a popular choice among PSL volunteers
Sydney Hites, '14 and Jen LaForce, '14 are two of ten PSL students volunteering at Hospice of the Western Reserve this year. Although they are only required to volunteer two hours per week, Sydney and Jen consistently volunteer four hours or more. They fill their time baking treats in the kitchen, much to the delight of the patients, staff, and other volunteers. When they are not baking, they visit patients, shadow nurses, and complete projects for the teen volunteer coordinator. To learn how to become a Hospice teen volunteer, please click here.
September 2013: PSL students bring back Seniors Helping Seniors Program
Billy Miller, '14 and Alysia Klinger, '14 teamed up to bring back the Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS) Program. Originally founded in 2007 by a pair of PSL students, SHS connects high school seniors with senior citizens in the Perry area in need of support and friendship. SHS provides a helping hand with everyday maintenance and common repairs while serving as reliable friends who check in with senior citizens on a regular basis. If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the program, please complete the form available on the Seniors Helping Seniors web page.
May 2013: Blaine Luszcak Receives Mayerson Foundation Book Award
Blaine Luszcak, '13 received the Mayerson Foundation Book Award. This award is given annually to recognize the extraordinary contributions to service of one PSL student. Blaine accumulated over 130 hours of service by facilitating the paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling programs for the Perry Local Schools. He also particpated in the Chicago Urban Plunge and St. Ignatius shadowing experience. Blaine will attend the University of Toledo where he hopes to obtain a degree in Computer Science Engineering. For a complete list of previous award winners, please click here.
April 2013: Kendra Lutes Receives Roger Grein Spirit of Philanthropy Award
Kendra Lutes, '13 received The Roger Grein Spirit of Philanthropy Award. Magnified Giving presents this award each year to one student who best embodies the spirit of philanthropy that the program strives to teach. Kendra headed up the PSL Student Philanthropy Program in its inaugural year. She used her video production talents to produce documentaries on each of the non-profits that were selected as finalists, thus helping to raise awareness about the needs of each organization.
April 2013: TriPoint volunteers gain experience in health related careers
TriPoint Hospital volunteer Alexa Roberts wasn't sure she wanted to pursue a career in nursing. But after working closely with her for the past few months. the medical staff in the PACU are convinced that she has what it takes to be part of the profession. The Concord, Ohio facility welcomed Alexa, along with classmates Rachel Greathouse, Blake New, and Brittany Soppitt to the volunteer program this year, and gave them opportunities to work closely with patients in an acute medical setting. They have been grateful for the work of this year's PSL students, and look forward to welcoming the class of 2014 in just a few short months.
April 2013: PSL student wins grant for the PHS Giving Garden
Katie Lauria, '13 was named a $500 Do Something Seed Grant winner. Katie plans to put the funds towards The PHS Giving Garden where she has volunteered all year. Preliminary plans include building another three-bin compost system to help improve the soil's fertility from rot-resistant cedar.
March 2013: PHS Giving Garden Volunteers Don't Let Winter Slow them Down
PHS Giving Garden volunteers Nick Hashier, '13 and Sean Tooley, '13 didn't let the cold and snow this winter keep them from volunteering. The dynamic duo built a potting bench from recycled pallets. The bench will provide volunteers with a functional space to make arrangements from the garden's cutting flower beds. Sales of cutting flowers generate funds that are put back into the garden. Hashier and Tooley also built a three bin compost system earlier this school year.