Jayden Gerak & Katherine Roy from the Grand Rapids Rotary Interact Club summarized their experience working with the Youth Voice Survey results in this blog post.  The club members focused on two elements of the pathway when reviewing survey data:  “Every student will have access to meaningful connections to the community” and “Every student will feel accepted”. 

Rotary Interact members brainstorm ideas while planning with the youth voices survey data.

Rotary Interact members brainstorm ideas while planning with the youth voices survey data.

On May 13, 2015, eleven students from Grand Rapids High School attended a personal leadership meeting facilitated by Becky LaPlant with the Itasca Area Initiative for Student Success.

After we introduced ourselves with a game, the students that went to the 2015 District Rotary Conference shared their experience. Students Brock Schrom (10th grade), Brett Rodenberg (10th grade), Katherine Roy (9th grade), Jayden Gerak (9th grade), Seth Washburn (9th grade), Mia Deadrick (9th grade) and Heather Vance (9th grade) told a little bit about the experience at the conference and what we learned from it.

Taking that leadership experience into our community, we looked at the results from the Youth Voice survey taken by kids in our community. We talked throughout the group sharing what we were and weren’t surprised about. We then talked about the categories that we believed were the most important. With what we got out of that we came up with multiple ideas of how we can get out in community to work and get together more often, doing this with activities that would be outside of the box and include everybody. One idea that stuck out to all of us is a weekend “camp” with many activities suiting all ages. Since everyone liked the idea, we all took sticky notes and wrote down what we would need to do to make it happen. We plan on meeting again as school is approaching to discuss how we can make our ideas come to life! It was such a fun experience and we both look forward to doing it in the near future!

Club members are planning to solicit interest of other Grand Rapids High School clubs and the adult Rotarian clubs in the area to support their planning for “Rapids Camps” to be held in 2016.