Dripping Springs High School students participate in inaugural Day of Service

Dripping Springs High School students Paige Miller, Pierce Walker and Tania Huerta participate in their school's Day of Service at Dripping Springs Ranch Park.

Dripping Springs High School students Paige Miller, Pierce Walker and Tania Huerta participate in their school's Day of Service at Dripping Springs Ranch Park.

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Student leaders for the Day of Service
Dripping Springs High School students this week hosted an inaugural Day of Service event, in which students engaged in clean up and yard work, painting and other projects at sites across the Dripping Springs community. Participating students had a chance to volunteer on one of two days, March 25 or 26.

Three students spearheaded the event: juniors Maverick Walker and Ali McFadden and sophomore Bella Rodriguez, all members of the school’s Principal's Advisory Committee.

“We feel like it’s really important to help unify our school and give back to the community, because they’ve given us so much,” McFadden said.

Walker, McFadden and Rodriguez began work when Dripping Springs High School Principal Joe Burns approached the group in October 2018 about planning a school-wide service project. The students said they were inspired by Texas A&M’s service day called The Big Event, which is the nation’s largest day-long service event run by students, according to the university.

"We [wanted] to do something like [The Big Event] at Dripping Springs to help with unification and to have our students at our school really know what it means to help others," Rodriguez said. "So we took off with that idea.”

The students coordinated with local establishments and the city to arrange service projects at sites including Dripping Springs Ranch Park, the thrift store at Hill Country Senior Center, Hays Women’s Shelter and a number of parks around Dripping Springs.

The students said it was initially difficult to secure community participation for a new project, but that the community was supportive once it heard the scope of the project.

"I could not be prouder of our students,” Burns said through an email to Community Impact Newspaper. “They showed what is possible when we all unite under a common goal.  Not only did they work hard, they also did it with a big smile and a servant’s heart.”

All Dripping Springs High juniors and seniors participated in the Day of Service. Around 530 participated on March 25, and 400 more participated March 26.

“Hopefully next year we’ll be able to make it the whole school,” Walker said.
By Olivia Aldridge

Reporter, Central Austin

Olivia joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in March 2019. She covers public health, business, development and Travis County government. A graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Olivia worked as a reporter and producer for South Carolina Public Radio before moving to Texas. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times.


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