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Kecoughtan and Phoebus hold inaugural Volunteer Week

Both Phoebus High School and Kecoughtan High School held their first Volunteer Week January 9 through 13. The event was the brainchild of college and career coach Alicia Lanier-Stewart. Both schools hosted volunteer events where students learned more about opportunities to assist local organizations while developing their skills and giving back to their community.

Phoebus held multiple classroom sessions with different community groups. Approximately 150 students in grades 9-12, representing all the Phoebus academies, attended the classroom sessions. Kecoughtan hosted a volunteer fair on January 12. Senior Jeremiah Britt of the Academy of Entrepreneurship and Information Design said, “Overall what I like about the fair is that I get a chance to meet a bunch of different organizations for a good cause that I could actually see myself supporting.”

Over 300 KHS students in grades 9-12 attended and visited the exhibit tables of different community groups. The fair was open to students from all Kecoughtan academies. Lanier-Stewart would like to thank the community representatives who interacted with students: American Red Cross, Community Knights, Hampton Clean City Commission, Peninsula Foodbank, Peninsula SPCA, and Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

Kecoughtan followed up their volunteer fair with students volunteering to conduct a school grounds cleanup with the Hampton Clean City Commission. Sixteen students scoured the school grounds removing over eight bags of trash that would otherwise have ended up in Hampton waterways. The students recorded data and found that food wrappers were by far the most common trash item found (over 130 collected), followed by plastic bags (28 collected), and plastic beverage bottles (28 collected). Freshmen Mikalah Hardin, Alana Pauling, Tori Spalding; sophomores Niarah Manago, Jahanna Reeves, Alayah Woodberry; juniors Marquist Harris, Sanaa Kelley, Ella McKenney, Travis Rivers; and seniors Ahmik Allen, Ahniyah Banks, Darius McCallum, Christopher Myers, Amaya Taylor, Camden West assisted Lanier-Stewart and members of the Hampton Clean City Commission in the cleanup.

Lanier-Stewart said, “As a college and career coach it is my passion to serve the students and connect them with opportunities within the community. This opportunity for our current students was truly a blessing with hopes that this moment will impact their post-secondary decisions by motivating them to set goals, encourage career exploration, expose them to give back, and provide them with limitless resources to accomplish their dreams.” 

She plans to continue hosting a Volunteer Week event each year.