Stafford, VA is described as a most ordinary place, with its share of both good and bad. The town, admittedly, does not have a disproportionate number of people in need, but it does have an organization that is devoted to helping anyone who may be. The organization is the Learn and Serve program at Brooke Point High School, a class in which students actively engage themselves in helping local residents, charities and service-oriented organizations.
The Learn and Serve program’s mission is to allow students the opportunity to play an active role in their community. The program is one of a few which attempts to instill positive virtues in the minds of our youth. In the past three years, the program has been involved with numerous volunteer service activities, which it has helped, if not created, and has a total of some 100-plus volunteers. They move furniture, restore homes, paint, restore historical sites and pick up garbage and assist with other organizations.
Of notable importance is that every project in which Learn and Serve is involved, is coordinated entirely by students. This they find is beneficial because teenagers are often more aware effective ways to address the problems and issues they face than their adult counterparts. For example, teenagers driving while intoxicated emerged as a serious problem in the Stafford area. Learn and Serve members, inspired by a local tragedy, which eventually took the lives of three fellow students, campaigned to bring awareness to this danger. Students made factual posters and videos in attempt to educate the public about teenage drunk driving. Last year, students took an extra step forward and, in conjunction with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department, made a short film which shows the consequences of driving while under the influence. The film was shown during Students Against Drunk Driving week.
Learn and Serve’s effort, in conjunction with the local skating center, demonstrated innovation on behalf of the students. The skating center offered local skaters a chance to reduce their admission fee if they donated a can of food to Learn and Serve for a Christmas drive. Students continued helping families during the holidays, throughout the year, through various Adopt-A-Family programs.