Houston STAT Wins National Acclaim

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Antonio Scott, Reporter

This summer, Houston attended the national Jefferson Awards for Public Service award ceremony in Washington, D.C. Led by staff adviser, Josephine Hammond, Houston STAT leaders networked with the nation’s best in public service.

Students Taking Action Today (STAT) is a group that provides networking and collaboration among the various student organizations on campus to coordinate larger community service projects while broadening the student body’s participation. Since its inception in September 2011, STAT has served as the leadership team for coordinating and participating in community outreach projects benefitting our school, service in the local community, and non-profit organizations.

The STAT student leadership team, Ryan Mitchell and Narayanan Rajagopal, who both graduated in 2013, and Samantha Mooneyham (Class of 2015) and Antonio Scott (Class of 2016), represented Houston at the awards.

During the June 2014 visit to Washington, D.C., members of the STAT leadership team met with Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker at his office. Students in Action winners from across the United States were invited to D.C. to share their stories of volunteerism.

Mooneyham, co-chairperson for this year’s STAT program, says “It was great to have a team of really close people working endlessly to help the community and represent Houston.” At the award ceremony, Houston STAT leaders were surrounded by public service champions from across the country. “It was reassuring because our society is still aiming to better the community,” Mooneyham continued.

Houston High School was the 2014 winner of the Jefferson Award for Public Service for the Mid-South Region. The school was recognized for its volunteer work with the Mid-South Food Bank through its Houston vs. Hunger project. Through donations from clubs and organizations, fundraisers, and private donations, students raised over $12,000.00 to purchase food for the Kids Back-Pack Program.

Throughout last school year, students volunteered at the Mobile Food Panty and the warehouse distribution center. In 2012, Houston High School was awarded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service Silver Banner for its Houston vs. Hunger food-packaging project.

Houston vs. Hunger is a program collaborating under Houston High School and the Mid-South Food Bank to address the issue of food insecurity in our community. Last year, Houston received the Volunteer School of the Year from the Mid South Food Bank to recognize the continuing efforts by the Houston community.

This year, Houston STAT is reorganizing its means of operation. “Our focus is [to involve] the whole school. We want school clubs, organizations, and sports teams to get involved.”

Any students interested in participating this year’s STAT program may contact Mrs. J. Hammond, staff adviser. Her e-mail is [email protected]