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Furry Friends Come to GSMST

On a Friday afternoon, you wouldn’t expect a group of high school students to be gathered in the cafeteria, especially after a busy week at school. However, who would turn down the opportunity to meet a furry friend?

The new GSMST Service Learning Cohort recently held their first fundraising event. All proceeds went to Furkids, Georgia’s largest no-kill animal shelter.

Service Learning is a brand-new program offered to juniors as their Junior Fellowship Experience, a unique and insightful graduation requirement for GSMST. According to Hannah Jeevanayagam, a member of the GSMST Service Cohort, she defines service learning an opportunity where students can “apply what they learn in their school curriculum into a project that is used to serve the community in some way.” Chloe Caday, another member of the inaugural cohort, says that after completing a unit about pets and animals, the students decided to focus their fundraiser on homelessness and rescues.

At the event, students paid a small ticket price to gather in the cafeteria to watch The Secret Life of Pets as well a chance to meet Truman, a full-bred miniature poodle. Unfortunately, even though a few other pets were supposed to come, the center became busy after Hurricane Irma hit Florida the week prior to the event.

This did not stop from the fundraiser from being a success! The cohort worked extremely hard in the weeks prior to the event, from making the photo booth and props, creating signs, and buying concessions and popcorn machines. In total, the team raised approximately $400.

Huge thanks go to Ms. Nicole D’Antonio and Ms. Rebecca Robbins for leading the cohort as well as Furkids for giving GSMST an opportunity to expand their view on service. The cohort hopes to establish other events like this enlightening experience throughout the school year.

Want to learn more about GSMST Service Learning? Follow them on Instagram @gsmstservicelearning!  For more information about the Junior Fellowship Experience, please contact Ms. Nicole D’Antonio at