Cool Schools: North's CIA

By Laura Forbes - bio | emailTwitter
Posted by Rachel Folz - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - They call themselves CIA but they're no spy agency.

They're a group of students at Evansville North High School who are giving back through a club called Community In Action.

In just one year, the Community In Action group has grown from about five members, to nearly 50.

One student credits club sponsor and Evansville North grad, Leslie McDowell.

"Mrs. McDowell is really energetic," junior Samantha Laszlo said. "She is with us all the time. I've never seen a sponsor so involved in wanting us to do good."

McDowell says one experience in particular gave the club momentum. A car wash for CJ's bus, a moving playhouse to help kids in disaster zones.

"We raised so much money in one day and handed it over," McDowell said. "And the kids started recognizing how it feels to give back."

Since then, the students have done at least two service events each month like reading to children at a daycare, helping at the Vanderburgh Homeless Connect event and collecting canned goods.

The group aims to reach out to the young and old in many different ways.

"That is the community. There is a wide variety of people," junior Graden Hardwick told 14 News. "We need to help them out."

Group members say that's the focus, serving many causes, but all of them, local.

"I know a lot of high schoolers don't really feel a connection to their community," Laszlo said. "Here, they can express themselves."

For many students, it's also an eye-opener.

"It was recognizing, 'Wow, we have three meals a day,'" McDowell said. "I think it is really good for these kids to see we've been blessed and we need to give back."

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