CPHS students - Grace Bassekle (junior), Will Asinger (sophomore), Megha Verghese (sophomore), Vanessa Vaudrey (sophomore) and Claire Koch (freshman) – earned first place in the regional competition earlier this spring. Three of the team members - Koch, Vaudrey and Verghese - traveled to Washington D.C. last week to accept the first-place regional award, and also learned they earned a silver medal, or second place, in the national competition.
A total of 15 SIA teams from across the country were in attendance at the national competition. This was the second year in a row the CPHS SIA team was invited to the national competition.
SIA is a unique youth service, leadership and recognition program that supports, trains and empowers today's youth to be leaders, problem solvers, entrepreneurs and impactful global citizens. The SIA competition is coordinated by Multiplying Good, formerly the Jefferson Awards Foundation, and consists of written questions and an oral presentation to share about service completed and leadership skills learned.
While in Washington D.C. the three team members from CPHS attended a youth summit to network with other students participating in SIA, were able to attend a walking tour of the national monument, toured the capitol, met and visited with Senator Tina Smith, and attended the Multiplying Good Gala, in which they were recognized for their work this year. Before heading home, the three students participated in a service learning project in Washington D.C., helping in a local soup kitchen.
"The students made a big impact this year by implementing different service projects to help the homeless in our area," explained Jane Hansen, CPHS SIA advisor and youth service coordinator. "Through their involvement with the Students in Action program and completing the written and oral requirements, they were able to articulate the impact they were able to make. I am so proud to see them recognized with this silver level national award for all their hard work."
Anoka-Hennepin Community Education coordinates youth service activities and projects at all high schools. A Youth Service Coordinator at each high school coordinates meaningful leadership and service opportunities, trips and projects benefiting the community.