By Kai Ruwende | September 23rd, 2019
The junior grade theme is service, something that is already an integral part of the Greenhills community. As the grade dean, Mr. Groff explained that the focus on service is especially important as students move into their upperclassman career. While there are worthy topics junior think about, they’re often focused on themselves. The grade theme highlights the importance of shifting our focus from ourselves.
Along with the theme of service comes the Rent-A-Junior program. The program requires everyone to complete six hours of work to raise money for the class in addition to the usual service hours. The goal is for us to complete odd jobs for members of the wider Ann Arbor community without any selfish gain from such activity.
When class trips came around, the eleventh grade stayed on brand by volunteering for Blight Busters in Detroit. Admittedly, this wasn’t most people’s first pick of activities to start the morning with. However, about ten or fifteen minutes in, there was a palpable shift in attitude. Unlike in the beginning, everyone began to really take the work seriously. It was as if we all came to the common realization that we were committing to something bigger than ourselves. Despite the existence of stereotypical high school friend groups, the entire grade began to work together, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. And more than that, we accomplished an incredible amount.
Once we were done, John George, the founder of Blight Busters, explained to us that the lot we cleaned up was going to be turned into a youth center for the children of Detroit, equipped with mentors who will teach the kids valuable skills. Hearing Mr. George speak excitedly about the future of Detroit suddenly made our work feel valuable. Hopefully, we will continue to work towards bettering our communities and helping in all ways possible throughout the year.