Talk to any of the teachers at Morgan High School and they will tell you about the amazing students they teach; how extraordinary the young people are that live in Morgan Valley. There are two young women who attend Morgan High School that, through their latest endeavor, epitomize the great spirit of service of which the teachers and leaders at the school describe. These two students are Rebecca Elton and Madison Sunday. They are neighbors and friends.
Elton spent two and a half weeks during this last summer in Peru working with a volunteer group that was organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This group volunteered at an orphanage where they repainted their building and assisted on another project working to provide a water tank for the village. They also worked directly with the children of the orphanage, doing what they could to help them improve their reading skills.
When Elton was telling Sunday about this experience, they both wanted to find a way to provide service to their own community. To take action on their idea, they approached the principle and superintendent of the school to ask about forming a service club. The administrators of the school were supportive, so the two young women then presented to the school board where they received unanimous support.
After receiving the school’s support, they named their club, The Morgan Youth Service Club and began making students aware of the opportunity to serve by becoming a member of the club. The response from the student body was very positive, and within the first few weeks they had more than thirty members. The club met for their initial planning and organizing and elected their officers. They are Rebecca Elton, President; Madison Sunday, Vice President; Cassandra Andersen, Historian; Missy Maisden, Secretary; Shannon Criddle, Public Relations, and Stephanie Criddle as Treasurer.
The group then made the decision to become part of the high school arm of the Rotary Club, called Interact. Their first service project was through Interact. Each year the Rotary Club sponsors a project to ensure that each third grade student receives their own dictionary. The Morgan Youth Service Club delivered these dictionaries and also sat down with the third grade students and helped them look up words. It was a great experience and more than twenty-five of the club members participated between Morgan Elementary and Mountain Green Elementary.
Elton and Sunday report that this is just the beginning of the club’s service. On December 2, they are working alongside the National Honor Society to support the Christmas Box House in Ogden. They will be having a party for the children from the house including food and games. They are also raising funds which will be presented to the Christmas Box House at this event.
They are already planning more events for the future, including a spring neighborhood cleanup. They also plan to raise money for an organization that is working to stamp out the last vestiges of polio by inoculating those at risk. Polio is currently eradicated from about 99% of the world and this initiative’s objective is to help with the eradication of the disease in the remaining areas. In addition to the club sponsored service each of the members must volunteer ten hours of their time to projects which they choose to do on their own.
These young women and the other members of the club are great examples of the strengths and capabilities of Morgan’s youth. Their vision of a better world through service and their ability to lead rather than just follow are inspiring. There is no doubt that the service they provide will be far-reaching. To watch them in action gives one great hope for the future. With young people like these in line to lead, it gives hope to the world at large indeed.