Every year Stevenson holds one dance, which is different from all the other ones the school has – it’s for charity, and it’s completely run and planned by students: Project Dance. Project Dance is an annual dance five-hour dance marathon held to benefit the Riverside Foundation, a home in Lincolnshire for adults with developmental disabilities, in addition to the Stevenson Kids in Need (KIN) Fund, which helps about every one out of ten Stevenson students out of some financial difficulties they are facing. This dance, which attracts eight hundred to over a thousand people each year, requires very extensive planning to pull off without a hitch. These students were leaders of the Project Dance committee, which began meeting in January to plan this year’s April dance. They met every Tuesday, led committees of general members, to organize every aspect of the dance – from the theme to the give-a-ways, to find community sponsors for the event, to order the huge amount of food, and to constantly advertise for the event’s success. After meetings with general members, these committee heads stayed after for another hour in order to plan the subsequent meetings and plan all details of Project Dance. In the end, this group of students put together a dance which attracted hundreds of students, created a buzz on the social media like no other, and moreover, raised $60,942.75 for the cause, making the event a huge success. For their work in helping the local community in the Riverside Foundation and KIN fund through Project Dance, we award Ashley Vallapurackal, Sakthi Shanmugasundaram, Katie Lillis, Varun Medhal, Mindy Silverman, Abby Kay, and Sonia Thosar the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Community Service.
These GIVE leaders exemplify the spirit of public service. They have spent the entire year planning, organizing, and leading volunteer opportunities for their fellow SHS peers. They are dedicated to volunteerism and have been an inspiration to all who have had the opportunity to work with them. Over the course of the year, they conducted 200 service events in which students earned 2600 service hours. For every event, one of these leaders would ride the bus, educate the volunteers en route, and monitor the service activities at the location. In addition, they were in charge of scheduling events, taking attendance, recording service hours on the uGIVE website, communicating with adults on site, and communicating with the student population about any changes in schedules. All of these students also worked tirelessly to make sure that Stevenson students enjoyed quality service experiences that were meaningful for themselves and transformational for those that they were helping. Whether they were playing wheelchair basketball or engaging in conversation with senior citizens at a nursing home, these leaders ensured that our students were fully engaged in their roles. Ms. Anne Schuman from the charity Friends Place said it best " Your GIVE leaders are exceptional young people, whose grace and compassion for others has touched our hearts." The Students In Action team is proud to present the Outstanding Community Service award to Josh Baker, Jonathan Hsu, Zachary Kozub, Rohan Dasika, Leah Butler, Shane Jacob, Arielle Borisov, Diana Liao, Dhruv Patel, and Jessica Hua.
Every Winter, the Stevenson National Honor Society sponsors Give-A-Thon, its largest community service project of the year. This year, Give-A-Thon provided gifts for 235 less fortunate families and filled over 600 boxes with food and baby items for the Vernon Area Township Food Pantry and the PADS shelter, brightening the holiday season for Chicagoland families in need. Starting in as early as September, Give-A-Thon Committee members worked hard in eight sub-committees to plan and execute every element of Give-A-Thon to ensure a smooth process and to maximize the impact on the community. Each subcommittee was led by three committee heads: a Moderator, a Secretary, and a Director of Communications. The Moderator prepared the weekly agenda and kept each group member on track. The Secretary took both attendance and minutes each week to maximize efficiency and overall committee awareness of progress. The Director of Communications facilitated contact and transmission of information among committee members to keep everyone up to date. Over several months, the committee heads who led the preparation of every aspect of Give-A-Thon spent innumerable hours to ensure its success. The committee heads drove the efforts for imaginative advertising, numerous benefit days, a revised Box Day process, an efficient Craft Day, a flawless Collection Day, and overall promotion with this year’s Dr. Seuss theme. Through dedication and leadership, the committee heads helped organize another magical Give-A-Thon that proved to be more efficient than ever. The Students In Action Leaders would like to recognize the following students with a Jefferson Award: Rachel Philipp, Ria Singh, Lily Zhang, Rina Patel, Yamini Chandra, HyoJin Chris Rho, Nam-Joong "Peter" Hwang, Weilly Tong, Amy Shah, Aneri Shah, Varun Medhal, Thomas Rzepecki, Madhur Malhotra , Vivian Wan, Sabrina Cynova, Renad Ramahi, Noella James, Bhooma Shivakumar, Paul Sone, Becky Schumm, Josh Thariath, Ellen Zhou, Jesse Pukshansky, and Michael Gonzalez.