“We’re always working,” said Develyn Newell, Renaissance High School science teacher and creator of Phoenix Outreach. “We’re a working group. Every time we come together, we’re working.”
Phoenix Outreach is a volunteer club at RHS that helps people in need. Newell said she saw a need for Renaissance students to be more active in the community.
“I reached out to someone that I know to find out if they needed some student volunteers and they said yes,” she said. “We just started from there.”
To start the club, she got the help of Makayla Glenn, who is a senior at RHS and the president of the Phoenix Outreach club.
“She and I had to secure community service opportunities and scope those who were in need before we started the program,” Glenn said. “A list of procedures, offers, etc. had to be established before we could even think of spreading the word of the club.”
Phoenix Outreach participates in many community service activities from filling Thanksgiving baskets to visiting rehab centers to teaching elementary students life lessons through a program called Babes World.
“Babes World is a program where we train young people to go into the elementary schools and use puppets to teach lessons like dealing with peer pressure,” Newell said.
Managing an entire volunteer club like Phoenix Outreach is not a simple task, but Glenn said she believes the help of fellow volunteers makes it easier for her to handle.
“When a whole club donates their time, we start to build an image that makes our club seem dependable,” Glenn said. “Often the responsibility of connecting with other organizations, preparing the agenda and keeping track of hours falls on me. It’s definitely rewarding though so I’m happy to do it.”
Not only do student volunteers receive community service hours that are needed for graduation through The Phoenix Outreach Club, but it also helps students give back to their own community.
“It’s very beneficial to me because it helps me be more open with the world,” senior Angeliyah Perkins said. “It helps me make the community a better place.”
The students who participate in this club are not only participating for their own benefits. They can look outside of their own problems and learn to care about people in need.
“Contribution to helping that need makes me feel valuable,” Glenn said. “Being a part of Phoenix Outreach is more to me than just looking good to colleges or having all my hours. This club gives me a purpose bigger than myself.”
Volunteering in Phoenix Outreach does not feel like a chore, the students said. They enjoy giving back to their own community and helping others.
“We have fun every week. I love helping people. It’s part of my spirit and I just love volunteering,” Perkins said.
What is the goal for Phoenix Outreach?
“For the community to know that we’re here,” Newell said.