Indianapolis Public Schools is at the center of a community with a rich and diverse history, and we are proud to be the educational home for students who are committed to community service. We have an impressive array of high school students who, while they’re old enough to choose their extracurricular activities, dedicate hours of their personal time to making our community a better place to live.
 
Students in the Fire Rescue Program at the IPS Career Technology Center recently took part in a meaningful partnership with the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD). Every single student in the program woke up early on a Saturday morning to help with IFD’s Clothe-A-Child event. These dedicated students arrived at 6:00 a.m. to cook breakfast for 200 people and set up for the event. They even acted as Santa’s helpers during the program and cleaned up the entire event space!
 
“We are very proud of how our class gave back to people in the community,” said Capt. Rena Wheeler. “It was a long, educational, emotional, tiring and productive day. Upon discussing how things went with our students, ALL of them were happy that they were a part of this big event. They felt like they had made a difference and were proud to say that they had ‘given back.’”
 
Community service is vital to members of John Marshall Community High School’s JROTC. If there’s a need, the JROTC jumps into action! These hard-working students just wrapped up their busiest season. The JROTC assisted Rev. Hunter Ministries as they assembled, filled and delivered more than 450 boxes of food to families in need. They also organized a canned food drive for Lincoln Apartments – a new complex that houses 75 formerly homeless veterans.
 
One of the most moving experiences for many JROTC members is their annual Veterans Day project at Crown Hill Cemetery. Students spend hours placing flags at the graves of veterans in the historic cemetery.
 
“If I was a family member and saw that someone cared enough to do that for a relative of mine – that’s touching,” said Senior Kijsha T. This year’s Crown Hill was special for Kijsha as she was able to place a flag at her grandfather’s grave with the support of her friends.
 
John Marshall’s JROTC also focuses on taking action within the school community. Students aided their social workers by stocking, packaging and delivering food bags to John Marshall families who need assistance.
 
“To know you’re helping someone in your real community, that feels good,” said Senior Curtresa T.
 
Freshman JROTC member Leshelle D. said taking part in so many community service projects is a truly rewarding experience. “I enjoy helping people because I want to be a better citizen,” she said.
 
The students at Gambold Preparatory Magnet High School are so committed to serving the community, it’s part of the curriculum! You’ll hear about a wide range of service projects at any given time in the halls of Gambold Prep, but right now the focus is on the Goodwill Township Youth Donation Drive. Gambold Prep is up against other local schools and districts to see who can generate the greatest number of donations to Goodwill.
 
“There’s a level of importance when talking about and actually participating in the Goodwill Drive,” said Gambold Prep Junior DeJuan P., Students in Action Social Media Chair. ”To me, it’s an enlightening way to learn about Goodwill which does so much for our community as a whole. Coming from a community service standpoint, you really see how much of an impact your contributions, small or large, may have on someone who needs a good chance or second chance at improving their life.”
 
If you’re cleaning out your closets or storage areas as you start the new year, consider giving Gambold Prep a hand in this friendly competition. If you make a donation to Goodwill and tell them the students at Gambold Prep sent you, your donation will be tallied for the Gators!
 

We are so proud to have students across the district participating in so many meaningful projects in service to our community, and we look forward to many more great works in the future!