Laxmi, a senior at RHS' eSTEM Academy hasn't let COVID-19 restrictions stop her from giving back to the community. A member of National Honor Society, Laxmi enjoys working with the elderly, children, political campaigns and food pantries.
"I believe it's very important to give back because it is a great way to build relationships with the people in your community," said Laxmi.
Because many volunteer opportunities are in larger groups, or indoors, Laxmi uses an app to help her find ways to volunteer and there are many virtual opportunities she can participate in. "National Honor Society provided us with an app called Point
, where I am able to find numerous volunteer opportunities, both in-person or virtually," she said.
Point partners with hundreds of nonprofits so students can easily find events they are passionate about and sign up in your city. The dashboard tracks and verifies student service hours and the NHS advisors have access to management and reporting features.
"We used to track service hours by paper, which was not effective," said Ms. Kellie Gedert, NHS Class Advisor and art teacher at HS(2) STEM Academy. "There is an app and a desktop version of Point, so you don't have to have a smartphone and you can also sign up with your families."
NHS has a private group on Point that gets specific safe service hours for students. "Safe" meaning virtual events where students can make items from home. For example, 60 kits of 15 bundles of magazines to promote literacy. When families pick up food from the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, they can pick up family-friendly magazines. "Barnes and Noble has been a huge partner," said Ms. Gedert. "It also promotes recycling and reducing trash in landfills."
Students interested in applying for NHS need 40 service hours. Point can help students find events to get those hours.
"If someone is interested in giving back, I suggest they join groups such as National Honor Society, Leo Club and Student Council," advises Laxmi. "These clubs have many volunteer events. Downloading the Point app and getting in touch with community leaders are other ways to get involved."
When she isn't volunteering, Laxmi enjoys helping her little cousins with their homework. She wants to attend The Ohio State University and major in Biology so she can be Pre-Med. She also plans to join cultural clubs and engage in extra-curricular activities.