With Massanutten being named an International Baccalaureate school, and fine tuning the honors society, Ms. Blakely, AP Government and World History Teacher, realized the need for a service activity that was more hands-on and collaborative for cadets. The IB certification and honors society require cadets to complete service hours. Also, MMA cadets are always looking for opportunities to volunteer and take on such activities for their college applications, graduation requirements and just to do service because it is intrinsically fulfilling.
Ms. Blakely referenced her past experience with Habitat Humanity, “when I have taken students in the past, they have felt a sense of accomplishment as they were able to see, first hand, the work they completed for a family in their community. I was not even sure if there was a chapter in our area that was active but with some ‘googling,’ I found the Central Valley HH which works in the Shenandoah Valley region. When I contacted them in late Spring, they were very responsive and positive about having MMA students volunteer. They actually offered us a day right away as well as in Summer, they were so excited for us to come out! Right now, they are constructing one house and renovating 3 others in the area.”
All junior and senior cadets will be volunteering on September 21st on a house project with plans to participate in the Spring. Ms. Blakely explained, “It is a challenge to find ongoing service projects that really involve the cadets with our busy schedule at the academy and living in a small, rural community where such opportunities seem difficult to find but I know there is a need for volunteers-it was just a matter of finding the right fit for our cadets and the right service organization.”
Ms. Blakely is extremely confident that the MMA cadets will do a stellar job for Habitat for Humanity as they develop some of the IB objectives of becoming caring, young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect while practicing excellence in service, leadership, and character.
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