RV Teen Leadership holds fundraiser for Miller Family

| December 21, 2022

Several people played a Christmas version of Bingo at a River View Teen Leadership fundraiser at Roscoe United Methodist Church on Dec. 19. The group decided to raise money for the Andrew Miller family. Miller is a student at Conesville Elementary who is going through a health crisis. (Jen Jones)

One of the goals of River View High School’s Teen Leadership is to help the community. As the group was trying to decide on their next project, Cindy Keneda attended a concert at Conesville Elementary and learned about Andrew Miller, a student there who was facing health challenges. She brought the idea to have a fundraiser and give the money to the Miller family back to the group and a Bingo night was planned.

The event was held at Roscoe United Methodist Church on Dec. 19. The teens took donations for the family and sold hot chocolate to players.

Stephanie Snyder, advisor for Teen Leadership, said the program is completely student driven. “They pick the projects. There are four committees, and each committee works on their own project, but we also do things as a group.” The students do activities with the younger classes in the district, put up signs acknowledging veterans who graduated from River View and several other projects.

“It varies all the time. It depends on what the kids come up with,” Snyder said. “Once they choose a project, the students do all the leg work, from phone calls to public speaking. It gives them important skills that their other classes may not cover.”

Senior Paige Nicely was one of the committee members for the Bingo fundraiser.  “We brainstormed at the beginning of the nine weeks and wanted to do a Bingo night,” she said. “We wanted to raise money for someone in the community to help and that’s when Cindy heard about Andrew. We all agreed that’s who we wanted to help.”

Nicely said she wanted to be in Teen Leadership to follow in her brother, Tyler’s, footsteps. “It’s a great program and being involved is fun,” she said. “And we get to help other people. It’s definitely taught me a lot about getting involved. Our community is small, and we need to stick together.”

Keneda is also a senior. “We do things around the community or school to raise money,” she said. “We’re doing an empty bowls event (a soup supper to raise money for the homeless).” When asked why she wanted to be part of Teen Leadership she said that a couple of her friends were in it and she wanted to help, too. “I’ve learned a lot about stepping into a leadership role, but also how to respectfully help someone,” Keneda said.

Another committee member is junior Cortney Bookless. “Our community is small and it’s important we stick together,” she said. “We can create a sense of connection between everyone.” Bookless said she has learned how to be a better leader. “I’ve also learned that it’s important to help yourself be better,” she said. “And it’s really nice to be able to help improve others’ lives.”

The fourth member of the event committee is senior Mark Dickerson. “We thought about raising money for the Salvation Army or maybe the senior center, but when we heard about the Miller family, we all wanted to help them,” he said.  Dickerson said being part of Teen Leadership has changed his life. “I was the quiet kid who never wanted any social interaction,” he said. “Being part of this pushed me out of my shell. It’s changed my life in so many ways.”

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