The summer series continues with a look back from Derek Sheckman Award winner Haley Lakind. Haley’s project focused on expanding inclusion programming at her high school, and we were so proud of the work she did this year. In addition to being a Derek Sheckman Award winner, Haley was a 2017-2018 Sloane Peer Leadership Fellow and has traveled with JTI to Washington DC for L’Taken. In the fall Haley is starting UMass Amherst and majoring in communications.
My Derek Sheckman Award project was called ITS. This stands for Inclusion Through Service. At Swampscott High School, there is a club called the Innovators Club. This is a club that used to meet once a week for lunch and it included kids in the school population as well as students on the spectrum who were part of their own separate program. My project had the goal of getting these students as involved in the school community as possible while also giving back to the community.
I was able to help host multiple events that got the students involved. This included a Thanksgiving breakfast where we made breakfast foods and arts and crafts that went to all the teachers in the school as a way of showing our thanks. We had a cookie decorating party where we baked, frosted and decorated cookies that we gave to the students and faculty at the school but also ate ourselves. We ran a bake sale at the local Opera Show that took place in February. The students got to interact with people in the community by selling the baked goods and the profit went toward the Discovery Learning Center at the High school. Also, we had a game day where people would come down for lunch and play board and card games with the kids.
These were fun and interactive ways I was able to help the students on the spectrum get involved in the school community and it is my hope that they will continue to interact in the future years.