Fostering hope

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Photo provided by: Kathryn Anderson

The Cuddle Kit baskets include gifted stuffed animals, books, a blanket, and a pillowcase. Leadership students hoped to have an impact on foster kids this semester with their project.

Kyra Martin, Staff Reporter

Foster kids throughout the county are experiencing a large sum of uncertainty due to COVID-19, not only are they affected by the economic hardships that go along with a global pandemic, but many potential foster parents are reluctant to foster kids during this time. These stresses only exacerbate the typical stress of being in the foster care system. In hopes of marginally bettering these kids’ circumstances, student leadership banded together to create a service project specifically designed with them in mind. 

The project student leadership landed on was titled “Cuddle Kits”, laundry basket packages that included handmade blankets, toys, books, stuffed animals, and a pillowcase. This project was spearheaded by senior class council President Kathryn Anderson, who drew inspiration from both the state leadership theme of focusing on foster care and her own research project on fostered youth for children in foster care, an idea spearheaded by senior class council 

“Student leadership is always willing and eager to help their community,” Student Body President senior Ike Schiller said. “With projects that appreciate our school staff, local veterans, local foster homes, and local elderly homes, our community knows that young student leaders are right by their side and that we are always thinking about our community. This helps our own students here become more familiar with our community and neighborhoods which is a great relationship builder.” 

Student leadership is focusing on the positive impact they can have on foster children in Seminole County.

“This project was supposed to be done in December for the holidays to be a gift for the children, but due to circumstances, it was postponed,” junior Kaylee Rios said. “However, this doesn’t mean these kits won’t have the same impact. These kits will provide a smile on their faces knowing that whatever they are going through regardless of their situation they are loved and thought of.”

Stepping up and taking a leadership role in the student government means not only being an influential force inside school walls but throughout the community as well. This means that cuddle kits are one of many projects that leadership students take on to help those around them.

“Students are not powerless, but powerful,” Anderson said. “Students can become passionate about a subject or topic and make the community aware or change from it. I think student leadership makes our community become better and opens the pathway for other student leaders to continue to improve their community.”

Students are not powerless, but powerful.”

— Senior class council president Kathryn Anderson