NEW LONDON, New Hampshire — Superintendent Winfried Feneberg is pleased to share that Sen. Maggie Hassan spoke with a group of Kearsarge students via Zoom about their community service efforts amid COVID-19 and throughout the school year this morning.
During the meeting, Sen. Hassan met with Kearsarge’s Student Work on Community Outreach Committee (SWOCO). The group organizes a variety of initiatives to get their peers involved in and give back to their community, and continues to meet remotely to plan opportunities to support their classmates during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Recently, the group hosted a virtual student talent show, and plans to host a virtual teacher talent show in the near future.
“I am very deeply aware of everything you all have continued to do to organize yourselves as students, to raise each other’s spirits,” Sen. Hassan said. “I know all of you haven’t let the pandemic stop your mission. It has changed the way you do things but it hasn’t changed who you are, it hasn’t changed what you care about, and most importantly it hasn’t changed your sense of commitment to your community and to your fellow citizens. And to me that’s what makes a Granite Stater. We are people who don’t wait for other folks to solve problems, we look at a need or an issue, we roll up our sleeves and we engage with each other and find a way to move forward and address our challenges and get stronger as a result.”
Approximately 30 students participate in SWOCO, four of whom attended this morning’s Zoom call.
“It was inspiring for students to have an opportunity to discuss their efforts with Sen. Hassan,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “This group of students have demonstrated a keen desire to give back and instill a similar mindset in their peers, and it has been wonderful to see the positive impact they’ve been able to make here at Kearsarge and in the surrounding communities.”
This fall, SWOCO partnered with Colby Sawyer College to host a Community Action Resulting in Experience (C.A.R.E.) Conference that more than 120 area high school students participated in. Students heard from keynote speaker Jennifer White, an assistant professor at Colby-Sawyer College, at the event, and also discussed big-picture questions about topics such as leadership, community and collaboration in small groups.
SWOCO also held a blanket drive in partnership with Kearsarge’s National Honor Society in December, collecting and donating 90 blankets, in support of efforts by the Newbury Veterans Committee to help homeless veterans at the Liberty House in Manchester, a substance-free transitional house that assists homeless and struggling veterans and connects them with much needed resources.
The group is led by adviser, teacher and Veterans adviser Curtis Roddy.
“SWOCO is an extraordinary group of students who are dedicated to impacting their community through a variety of means,” Roddy said. “These students are committed to improving their community, and have shifted their focus to support their peers during these unprecedented times. We were so glad to meet virtually with Sen. Hassan today.”