Jessica Diamond, a seventh-grader at West Brook Middle School, started a community service club at her school that has attracted 140 student members, raised more than $10,000 for a variety of causes, and taken part in numerous other volunteer activities.
“As the daughter of a very active Rotary Club member, I have seen first-hand the impact that people working together can make,” Jessica said, “I thought about how great it would be to have a service organization like that at my school.”
Jessica wrote a proposal to form a React Club affiliated with the local Rotary Club, and presented it to school officials. Once approved, Jessica began recruiting members, leading meetings, and brainstorming club activities.
During its first year, the club raised more than $2,400 and prepared more than 100 backpacks full of school supplies for victims of Hurricane Katrina, collected $1,300 for victims of the tsunami, and organized a book drive for disadvantaged children and senior citizens. Club members also visited local health care facilities, baked bread for a soup kitchen, read to children at an inner-city preschool, and raised $6,000 to provide life-saving heart surgery for an Ecuadorian child.
“A dream of mine would be to see every middle school in the United States have a dynamic club just like ours,” Jessica said, “and that every middle school student would know what it feels like to make a difference in the life of another person.”