Written by Madeline Churchill, AmeriCorps member proudly serving at Istrouma High School.
At Istrouma High School, my team and I were buzzing with excitement as we pulled up to our school on Saturday morning. We spent most of the day on Friday telling students to be ready to return to a revitalized campus on Monday, knowing that our whole Corps would stop at nothing to leave Istrouma High School better than we found it after the service day. Joined in service by community members, students and teachers alike, we spent the entire hot, humid Saturday morning constructing benches and picnic tables for students to sit and socialize during breakfast and lunch, building garden boxes for the biology and physical science classes to utilize later in the year, painting murals both on the school walls and on plywood to display around campus, and revitalizing the school campus and surrounding area by landscaping, cleaning up trash, and repainting the lines in the parking lot. I can say with confidence that every volunteer left the service day exhausted, sweaty, and immensely proud of the work we put into our Day of Service. Istrouma High recently underwent $24.1 million in renovations, and our impact added a sense of community flavor to the brand new, state-of-the-art facilities.
On Monday morning, my team and I stood at the top of the stairs where the students first enter the hallway for class and waited to get the first impressions of our hard work. Students who helped us prepare for the Day of Service by tracing out murals in the hallway beamed with pride as they saw the finished product of their hard work, knowing that they left a legacy on their school. Other students enjoyed sitting outsi de on the picnic tables after breakfast and lunch while they waited to go to their next class. Sophomore Jalyn Fobb, an Istrouma High student who attended the service project, proudly told her classmates, “I painted that!” while passing murals that she worked on. Upon seeing the students’ and staff’s reactions to our efforts, I felt honored to be a part of the Istrouma Strong family and motivated to continue making our school a more welcoming and beautiful part of the community.