Students of Willoughby-Eastlake Schools are helping others in a wide range of volunteer activities

Students Serving
Area students volunteering to serve seniors during the Senior Night Out event.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

Throughout the year, the students of Willoughby-Eastlake Schools create a ripple effect of commitment to service that extends far beyond the classroom walls and indeed changes the world for many in our community. With their energy, passion, creativity and idealism, the acts of service encompass a wide range of activities. Students can be seen volunteering around the community, collecting items for those in need, organizing charity events, or simply lending a hand to others.

Mimi had the pleasure of catching up with Jennifer Schendel, the North High School Volunteers Club Advisor, and Gabi, who will be the Club’s president next year, to find out more about their impressive efforts.

“Giving back to others, whether in the school, community or beyond, creates a culture of kindness, acceptance, giving, responsibility, and generosity,” Jennifer says. “The students also learn to put others first and create and cultivate gratitude.”

Gabi says she’s in the club to show that even a high school student can make a change for people of any age group.

“I have experienced a lot of team building and met new people who I would have never had a conversation with if it weren’t for Volunteers Club,” Gabi says. “I’ve grown as a person and realized at the end of the day I feel good; by helping people I did something important.”

The acts of service aren’t limited to the senior high level. All grades participate in some form of service, which include raking leaves and washing cars for senior citizens, collecting socks for Socktober, as well as hats, gloves, Toys for Tots drives, and volunteering on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad North Pole Adventure to benefit children from local hospitals and shelters. Veterans appreciation ceremonies and Patriot Day First Responders Appreciation also help students pay gratitude to those who serve.

Look for these monthly stories to cover topics from grades K-12 in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools System. Find out more at