Just before Valentine’s Day Manchester High School’s JAG hosted a fundraiser to support an end of the year field trip!. JAG’s vice president, Cassy Barrett, had the fantastic idea to hold a cupcake fundraiser for Valentine’s day. This Fundraiser was open to both students and staff members. Cupcakes were available to order for just $1 a piece. With each cupcake, there was an option to write a special message to the receiver. Justine Meyer, the JAG Specialist at Manchester High School, ordered 200 cupcake boxes assuming that would be more than enough. After just three days of taking orders for cupcakes during the school’s Power Hour they were sold out! There were three flavors the students and staff could choose from: red velvet, vanilla and chocolate. Red velvet was the best seller by a long shot. Over the course of two weeks, groups of JAG students helped enter orders and fold cupcake boxes. The Wednesday and Thursday before delivery, JAG students and volunteers helped bake, frost, box and label the cupcakes. They were delivered to staff and students on the Friday before Valentine’s Day. The Vice President and JAG Specialist worked especially hard to make make this fundraiser such a success.
Written by: Cassandra Barrett, JAG Vice President at MHS
Turning heads as they passed in the halls, students at the Satellite Careers Academy couldn’t help but pause to gather some of the wisdom being shared by Ellen Perkins Simpson, Executive Director of the Friendship Center.
All JAG students are either members or elected leaders of JAG’s Career Association, and as such study and discuss local resources and needs as they decide on community service projects. The SCA’s JAG students have opted to give back to their community by working with the Friendship Center of New Britain. The center has stood as a pillar of the community for decades, with services now including emergency shelter, community outreach and homelessness prevention, and permanent supportive housing.
Mrs. Simpson was kind enough to visit our JAG class Jan. 15th and discuss with a rapt audience the history of the Friendship Center and the services rendered therein. From humble beginnings, Ellen has seen the center evolve over decades. Her involvement came at grassroots levels with her acting as liaison to local ministries to illicit donations and further the improvement of the center. Modern times see the center playing host to low income families with assistive housing and help planning their economic present and future.
Participation was key in this presentation as Mrs. Simpson asked each student questions regarding their experience with New Britain’s homeless, how they believe the situation can be improved, and what they can do to help and work with the Friendship Center. Whether via volunteer work or by considering professions that contribute to the Friendship Center’s team of dedicated employees, Mrs. Simpson made it clear that any and all who wished to be a part of the organization were welcomed with open arms!
On January 14th, New Britain High School JAG participants got the chance to sit down and speak with Manny Sanchez. Mr. Sanchez is a member of the city council for New Britain and is also the Employer Relations Coordinator at Goodwin College. Manny’s personal upbringing and rich experience left students feeling inspired to pursue their dreams.
The interactive topic of conversation was overcoming adversity. Sanchez states, “you have to do better for yourself, you have to do better for your life. There’s no other option.” The message of perseverance was genuine and the students responded positively to the realness of the conversation. The talked helped students gain the perspective that they, as individuals, are in control of their destiny and that they need to work hard for what they want in life.