Bushland High School seniors give back during the pandemic

Students are making an impact in the community.
Students submit their projects to Lead4change and Bushland students received the banner award for the second time. Only 33 schools in the U.S. receive this.
Updated: Nov. 3, 2020 at 6:31 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Students at Bushland High School have been remotely creating and implementing local service projects through the Lead4Change program.

Bushland High School seniors have been serving their community virtually as the pandemic has presented some unique challenges.

The school has been selected as a Lead4Change Certified School for the 2020-2021 school year for their continued participation.

“We have a three hour chunk of time where we can go out into the community and serve. This year it’s been really hard because we’re not allowed to go to a lot of the same organizations that we have in the past. So, the students have really overcome a lot of obstacles. They haven’t let anything keep them, hold them back from doing anything. They’ll come up with an idea and we’ll just roll with it. We’re trying to think of things that we can do and not focus on what we can’t,” said Michelle Lancaster, family and community service teacher at Bushland High School.

The family and community service class at Bushland High School have been participating in a student led leadership program for the past two years, giving back locally.

Students collectively plan a project, have a goal and try to accomplish those goals to help those in need.

This year, after planning and submitting their projects to Lead4change, the class won the banner award for the second time.

Only 33 schools in the U.S. received this honor.

“We send in videos; they have to send in statements on what it meant to them to do those different things. And after that they vote on which schools, they think deserve to win that award,” said Lancaster.

Students submit their projects to Lead4Change.

“Because of the pandemic, we haven’t been able to do a lot of the stuff that we’ve done in the past like go to homeless shelters and stuff like that. But, we’re just kind of thinking outside the box and trying to do the best we can with what we have and make the most of a bad situation,” said Avery Porter, senior at Bushland High School.

This semester students have been working on eight different projects with eight different companies in the community during this time and the upcoming winter season.

“We’re accepting donations of leftover Halloween candy this week. That is then going to be sent to our troops and some local veterans just to show that we appreciate and support everything they’re doing for us,” said Jayce Zelter, senior at Bushland High School. (Operation Gratitude)

“We paired with a group from New York called BeAFriend [project]. With this we got to send encouraging letters to kids who are severely bullied every day. It’s just really cool to see like their expressions and reactions to when they get their notes and gifts from Bushland High School,” said Kloie Rankin, senior at Bushland High School.

Other projects include partnering with the Panhandle Community Service and Festival of Trees to decorate Christmas trees and donating the money to the Panhandle Community Service.

Students will also be working with Joan’s Fabric to distribute hats, gloves and scarves to various programs around Amarillo.

“We have partnered with D A R to trace and cut out felt stockings . And so, we cut them out and trace them and we give them back to them and they will sew them. And then we will receive them back and personalize them with children’s names with glitter glue and we will be giving those to Wills and Lamar Elementary,” said Zoe Hames, senior at Bushland High School.

“We went shopping for little snacks and drinks and put them all together in boxes for our transportation department and our custodians to thank them for everything they’ve done for our school and for the kids here Bushland during this pandemic,” said Kinsey Newman, senior at Bushland High School.

Students will purchase gifts for kids in the community who do not qualify for the Angle Tree Program.

The class will also be working Pay it Forward doing random acts of kindness for people in the community and sending Christmas crafts to Martha’s Home.

To keep up with the latest project’s Bushland students are doing, or if interested in partnering with the class, visit their Facebook page at Bushland Community Service.

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