By Mary Waggoner, Everett Public Schools Director of Communicatiions.
Middle school students’ acts of generosity and community involvement earn televised time with Carroll.
Wednesday, March 14, 2014, was a great day for Gateway Middle School sixth-grader Quinn Williamson and seventh-grader Manasvini Tanikella, Not only did the two represent their school’s G.I.V.E Club (Guardians Involved in Volunteering Experience), they were two among only six students in the state to be invited by Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to the WE Day news conference.
So how did this exclusive invitation come about?
Stacy Stephens is Gateway Middle School’s librarian and has been advisor of the school’s G.I.V.E. Club for 14 years. G.I.V.E. members are absolutely committed to projects that help the school and school community. Students meet each Thursday at noon to plan their projects. They just finished collecting several large boxes of arts and crafts supplies they donated to Children’s Hospital.
Gateway G.I.V.E students are also deeply involved with the national WE Day project; as are students from Evergreen Middle and Henry M. Jackson High School. As its website declares, “WE Day is family of organizations changing the world.”
WE Day is part of a family of organizations, including Free The Children and Me to We, that has a shared goal: to empower a generation to shift the world from me to we through how we act, how we give, the choices we make on what to buy and what to wear, the media we consume and the experiences with which we choose to engage.
Coach Carroll is a staunch WE Day supporter and has been instrumental in bringing a WE Day event to Seattle next week. WE Day organizers arranged the news conference with Carroll who extended the invitation for two of Gateway’s G.I.V.E. students to sit with him on the stage before four huge television cameras. At Carroll’s invitation Tanikella talked about her school’s community service, and Williamson announced the performers and speakers involved in the WE Day experience next week.
The students’ connection to WE Day began with Wednesday’s news conference. Students from Gateway, Evergreen middle school and from Henry M. Jackson have been invited to attend the March 21 WE Day activities; because of their extensive community projects.
“More than 15,000 students from across the state will be at WE Day on March 21. It will be an inspiring day for our students to be part of a national movement of youth leadership and will hopefully cause a chain reaction” Stacy Stephens noted.
“Only six in the state got the news conference experience with Pete Carroll. That is, of course, special. In perspective, it is no less special that three of our schools will be taking students to WE Day and that each of these students will see and experience the collective and individual power of giving to others, of helping others and how a celebrity-hero like Pete Carroll finds time to give back. This chain of events and experiences has profound impact on today’s students who are well on their ways to being tomorrow’s celebrity- and everyday-heroes.”
Links to more information and photos: