Seniors find ways to give back

Binqi Chen, Co Editor-in-Chief

This Thanksgiving season, instead of laying in bed and watching Netflix this autumn and winter, perhaps find a way to give back to your community. Several seniors have ditched just the seasonal volunteering time, and have continued their passions in service work all throughout the year.

Senior Cecilia Joseph has been actively involved in her church. This past summer, Joseph, along with members of her youth group, went on two different mission trips. The first of the mission trips Joseph went on was to Abingdon, Virginia.

“There were 60 of us and by the end of four days, we completed 5 construction projects on 5 different sites, for different families in need,” Joseph said.

The family that Joseph assisted had a recently disabled daughter. She had gotten really sick became disabled. The youth group decided to build her a walkway.

“The doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to walk again, but when we met her, she was using a walker and slowly rehabilitating,” Joseph said. “She was a living miracle. The family lived on the top of a steep hill in a trailer park, so you can imagine how hard it was for them to get their daughter in and out of the house.”

Being involved in your local place of worship is a perfect opportunity to practice the religion that you cherish, but also making a difference in somebody else’s life. To learn more information about being a member of the Columbia Baptist Church in order to go on a mission trip contact Eric Schneiderhan at [email protected] Mission trips cost anywhere from one thousand dollars to four hundred dollars depending on the location of the trip, but the experience and journey are worth the money.

Staying more local, show your passion and love for animals by fostering a shelter animal. Senior Lennon Wuhrer and her family have been doing just that for years.

Wuhrer was first exposed to fostering dogs because her mom used to be an adoption coordinator for Northern Virginia’s Dogs XL Rescue. For more information on how the opportunity to house or perhaps permanently adopt an adorable pet in your home, contact

If fostering a dog isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps tutoring at a local elementary school is.

Senior Mariam Mohamed is the President of AHS’ Kids Are Scientists Too program, which teams up students from North Springfield Elementary school to conduct scientific experiments. This is a great way to sustain the future generation’s interest in STEM.

KAST runs every other Thursday after school, they are always welcoming more volunteers and tutors into the program. For more information contact the organization at