Indian Hills Junior Board celebrates 10th year

Indian Hills Junior Board celebrates 10th year
Shawnee Mission School District

Indian Hills Middle School Junior Board participants had the opportunity to learn the business of philanthropy in a hands-on learning environment. Projects they completed this spring also gave them a chance to positively impact their local community. 

The Junior Board organization is in its 10th year at Indian Hills. Originally developed by  Steve O’Neill with the Curry Family Foundation, and Tiffany Lynch the Co-Founder of Youth Ambassadors, the program has continued to grow over the last decade. Students get to work with several non-profit organizations to raise funds and awareness for social issues they feel passionate about. 

Junior Board introduces students to the business of philanthropy through hands-on experiences and opportunities that include meeting the people committing their lives for the betterment of our community Indian Hills business teacher and Junior Board advisor Terry Byfield said. 

“Students learn what it takes to financially and physically feed, clothe, educate, and provide for those in need and learn first-hand from the clients receiving these vital services,” Byfield added.  

“It's totally about life skills; the kids are learning about how to work as a team and how to research,”  Dr. Scott Sherman, director of secondary services and one of this year’s Junior Board judges said.  “They are making a difference in providing information for nonprofits or providing resources for these nonprofit organizations,”

Students spend weeks researching different non-profit organizations to understand how a charitable business works. After looking at dozens of charities, students pick one to sponsor. They attend field trips and volunteer at their decided charity. 

Students present their research findings, in the form of a professional pitch in front of a group of judges, in hopes of winning a grand prize donation to the charity. In total $9,000 was donated and split among the six different charities. 

Below are the group placement results.

1st – The Golden Scoop – Cooper Miller, Caroline Bowen, Grace Deschaine, Aynslee Douglass, Maci Grecian, Anna Nazar, Merryn Rupp, Tommy Trucksess

2nd – Amethyst Place – Sofia Paddock, Elizabeth Beltrame, Sophia Cicero, Annie Joplin, Campbell McKee, Ava Murray, Blanka Strandell, Halima Talbi

3rd – KC Girls Prep Academy – Ellen Lund, Hampton Boyd, Ellie Fisher, Avery Folger, Hannah Klumpp, Hallie Pfeiffer, Will Sampler, Paige Wildman, Emma Weidman

The Children’s Place – Claire Rosen, Ryan Baker, Delilah Bales, Andrew Bukaty, Alexandria Fraley, Grace Gould, Hudson Jacobs, Hailey Stuber

The HALO Foundation – Carter Wild, Caitlin Baker, Ellie Burgess, Henry Byrd, Cassidy Graham, Eden Pfeifer

Child Protection Center – Ben Alt, Lucas Steinbacher, Vanessa Blades, Sloan Henderson, Eliza Phillips, Savannah Taylor, Isabel Wisdom, Tillie Paisner

“We wanted to dig deeper to learn about all of the things that they were doing, and it was a really great experience, my group and I really enjoyed working together,” Caroline Bowen, who was a part of the first-place team shared.“We all felt like this organization was more than just a non-profit, and they are truly changing lives. When we won, it meant that we could help the Golden Scoop get closer to their goal, so they can expand their business.” 

Sofia Paddock was selected to receive the Becca Lueke Award. This award is for students of the Junior Board who show commitment and effort above and beyond and is presented by Becca’s father, Donald Lueke, each year to honor the memory of his late daughter who devoted much of her time volunteering at “The Child's Place”.  

After joining the Junior Board during her first year of middle school, Paddock stuck with the program and led one of the groups. Her team worked with the women and children’s refuge center, Amethyst Place. 

“I was overjoyed and didn’t have any words to describe how happy I was,” Paddock expressed. “Being able to participate in such a wonderful club has been life changing and I hope someone will get to have the same opportunity as me,”

Paddock was given a $500 donation to a charity of her choice. She selected Mother’s Refuge, a shelter for young mothers and children struggling with homelessness in the greater Kansas City area.