Lovett students did more than just catch up on their sleep this summer! Many volunteered in the community, either here in Atlanta, around the country, or abroad. Cate Thompson ‘22 traveled to Costa Rica to hone her Spanish and help build a community garden in a small village there. “I was able to speak in Spanish with many locals and the staff we built the garden with, and it was the greatest experience. I took a lot away from my time doing service, such as the ability to work well in a team, my own leadership styles, and how to problem-solve and work hard to help others in need.”
Closer to home, Lindy Benton ‘21 interned with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and planned activities for children at the hospital, including coordinating a visit from the Atlanta Braves. And Sloane Saxon ‘20 worked with the Center for Civil and Human Rights here in Atlanta where she successfully pitched a Museum program for International Human Rights Day. “I wanted to intern at the NCCHR so that I could get an introduction to working for a non-profit organization, a field that I aspire to work in,” Sloane explained. “Additionally, I was drawn to their devotion to civil rights and social justice in the Atlanta community.”
Cate, Lindy, and Sloane all are members of the Lovett Student Service Board (SSB), a group of 22 sophomores, juniors, and seniors that coordinates Upper School service opportunities. Angela Morris-Long, who coordinated civic engagement at Lovett for many years, started SSB around 15 years ago, and the student-driven service organization created many of the opportunities that Lovett students take part in today. “We wanted the students to define the program to ensure our efforts mirrored their interests and passions,” she explained. “We also wanted the Lovett community to see servant leadership, and we decided to have peers elect representatives to the board so that we’d be in step with other important student leadership positions.”
Today, SSB helps to focus Upper School student community engagement and connect students with local organizations and activities like tutoring at the Agape Youth and Family Center, the FOCUS + Fragile Kids Gala, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the annual Gold Out to support CURE Childhood Cancer, among others.
Lovett Director of Civic and Global Engagement Fran Turner will serve as the group’s new advisor and is excited about the role it plays in organizing the school’s robust community engagement. “Lovett students have a remarkably strong commitment to service and to making the world a better place,” Mrs. Turner noted. “They truly embody the Lovett Vision for Learning goal of developing learners who are prepared to think and act with empathy.”
Through her work on SSB, Cate has seen firsthand the benefits of engaging with the community. “It allows students to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and gain empathy and respect for others,” she said. “And it gives students the opportunity to gain engagement skills, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, and life-changing experiences.”
If your family worked with members of the community either locally or abroad this summer, we’d love to hear about it! And if you have a photo, we’ll post it on our Global and Civic Engagement Bulletin Board in the 400 hall of the Community Center. Please send descriptions and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org