Anna La, a junior International Baccalaureate (IB) student at Dalton High School, is encouraging her classmates to practice student leadership by participating in community service. Most recently, La organized a community clean up initiative, gathering 38 people to pick up roadside trash at Brookwood Park and the surrounding areas.
La said the inspiration for this initiative came from witnessing litter in neighborhoods she drove through. La coordinated the event through Dalton Interact, a Dalton High club focused on improving the community through service projects.
"When I drive, I see a lot of trash in the street," La said. "These are really nice neighborhoods, and it shouldn't be like that. I thought, 'Maybe we should do a community clean up and have people come out and help.'"
The project was a success, and La said many of her peers did not realize how much litter was on the street until they helped pick it up.
"A lot of people said they enjoyed it," La said. "They had fun. We got 14 bags of trash off the street. I was really proud of everyone."
In the future, La has plans to host a school supply drive for local families. The Halloween-themed drive, set to take place on October 27, will include free candy and school supplies.
"I just want to make sure these kids have the resources they need to be successful," La said. "On October 27, we're going to host a trick-or-treat event. I think that will be really fun for them."
La said her work with Dalton Interact has shaped her perspective on service. By focusing on how she could improve her community, La believes volunteering is a great way to take an active role in helping your community.
"We're the future," La said. "The future is in our hands. We just need to analyze the problem and find ways to fix it."
Information about the Dalton Interact club and future volunteer opportunities can be found on their website.