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Teen Power: Transforming Communities for Good

Ask any Delphian School alum to name five fond memories from their time here and they’re sure to mention at least one school field trip. Our amazing faculty and staff are known for planning and executing incredible excursions, like our Business Seminar students’ recent eight-day journey across California.

Our alums are also quick to mention the unmatched spirit of service that comes with the territory here. Our unique approach to self-directed instruction is a natural fit for service-oriented learning, which the world needs more than ever today. 

Feeding Oregon’s neediest families

So it only makes sense that a group of our middle school students took it upon themselves to spend a recent field trip doing right by Oregon’s neediest families. In the course of a single day at a local food processing facility, the students repacked nearly 8,300 pounds of food, representing about 6,900 meals for families in need. 

Translation: each student individually packed 255 meals (and about 275 pounds of food) on their own. Whew! 

All that food went a long way. If we assume (for simplicity’s sake) that each family eats three meals per day, our students packed enough food to last one family about six years four months. Of course, all that food didn’t go to just one household. It was enough to keep 328 families fed for a week straight, or 2,300 families fed for a day.

However you slice it, that’s an impressive impact for fewer than 30 students to make in a single day.

A small token of hope for African orphans

And it’s not the only way Delphian School students are doing good in local and global communities. Another group of students — 14 in all — recently participated in the Memory Project, an art initiative that provides handmade portraits to children in orphanages across the world. Started by a University of Wisconsin graduate named Ben Schumaker, the Memory Project furthers cross-cultural understanding and gives disadvantaged children hope for the future.

“Together, we are using art to reach a distant destination: a kinder world in which all youth see themselves in one another regardless of differences in appearance, culture, religion, or circumstances,” says Schumaker.

The destination for this past year’s portraits (a mix of digital and hand-drawn art) was Nigeria, where far too many children live without parents or older guardians. The Delphian School students kept copies of their work and sent the originals across the ocean.

Bringing Earth Day to life

Back closer to home, our middle schoolers have settled into a productive Earth Day routine: cleaning up and planting greenery in communities like McMinnville, Oregon. 

It’s a great way for them to get outside, honor the spirit of Earth Day, and burn off some of their boundless energy. And it’s great for the planet!

Our students are smart enough to know that they can’t solve every earthly problem themselves. But through initiatives like feeding food-insecure Oregonians, sending artwork to orphans on another continent, and beautifying the communities they call home, they learn valuable lessons about the power of selfless service. And that’s truly worth celebrating.


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