Q: Why did you decide to be a sponsor for N-Teens?
A: Honestly, it just kind of fell onto my lap. One of the assistant principals came to me and we were talking about it. I said that I wanted to be more involved in the school and then he had me meet, at that time it was Mrs. Rawls that was running it, she was a math teacher here. I met with her and talked to her about it. I helped her for the first couple of years. Then she left and I took over.
Q: Were you and Ms. Gabrielle Rapin, [Science], working together by then?
A: Yeah, I did it for a year by myself. Then, Ms. Rapin came and she started helping me the next year.
Q: Do you know how N-Teens all started?
A: I do not. I know that it’s been at the school for a really long time. We ended up finding some old documents from 20 years ago, so it’s been here for a long time, but I don’t really know the origins.
Q: What are your goals and expectations for the club this year?
A: This year I’m going to increase the incentive for students to be gaining community service by adding scholarships for college. My top students, my top service members are going to get scholarships. I’m hoping that increases the drive to be service members in the community.
Q: What are the expectations for the N-Teens members?
A: They have to acquire 30 community service hours over the course of the year. They have to try to be in regular attendance at meetings, but if they can’t then they can always come to me, that’s fine too. I appreciate the more involved they are in the club too.
Q: What kind of qualities do you look for in a member when you’re choosing who the president would be?
A: I look for somebody that’s willing to and can work with a lot of other people. It’s a role that requires a lot of that. Somebody that’s really approachable, but also a hard worker; a selfless person who appreciates and likes being involved in the community as well.
Q: Was it tough to choose the president this year?
A: Yes and no, it just depends on the year. Generally, I have officers who were vice president the year before that want that role the next year and they prove to me over the course of the year whether or not they deserve that.
Q: What kind of volunteer opportunities do the members have?
A: It depends. At the beginning of the year there’s a lot of things around Dyer and Schererville, around the community, like different Italian fests and craft fairs, things like that. They can volunteer at the school through a lot of the athletic programs where they need volunteers. Then, we get closer to Winter Formal and there’s a lot of ability to volunteer with that and it trickles off towards the end of the year.
Q: How do the members benefit from the club and what kind of things do they learn by the time school ends?
A: I think that it’s really valuable to know what it is to be a valuable member of the community year round. Not only through networking and getting to know people in the community, but becoming more well-rounded in your experiences as well.
Q: How many students do you think complete all their service hours?
A: I would have to look at the exact numbers, but last year I think we had around 60, that did.
Q: Do you think more students remained committed throughout the year?
A: I do, it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about because the attendance and everything is so great at the beginning at the year. Then everything after Winter Formal, because everybody is really involved in Winter Formal and really interested in it, drops. I absolutely do [wish students remained committed throughout the year], but if people are still doing community service, that’s the true goal of the club.