With their last classes of high school officially over, Minnetonka seniors spent their final few days before graduation participating in a variety of volunteer opportunities through the Senior Serve program. From cleaning up parks to helping out at thrift stores, they made a positive impact on the community.
"Service projects consist of planting, painting, mulching, mentoring, cleaning, reading, playing & doing craft projects with younger students, food packing, playing music for seniors, removing invasive species and much more," explains Michelle Seets, Community Service Specialist at the high school. "Event organizers work closely with site staff to manage logistics, training and execution."
2019 will marked the 16th year since the first Senior Serve event, and since then the project has expanded dramatically. Just last year, Minnetonka High School partnered with 24 different places, and offered 105 shifts in which 741 seniors participated.
Though participation is not required, most students sign up for at least one shift over the last week of school. Options for service opportunities vary greatly; some students cleaned up trash at Excelsior beach, others packed meals at Feed My Starving Children. Many of the service opportunities offered have personal connections to the students, such as the elementary schools they attended, or a local park nearby. The full-circle nature of the project makes it easy for students to give back to the community that has given them so much over the past twelve years.
"The goal of Senior Serve is to have seniors volunteer in the community as a way to say thank you for all of the support they have gotten," explains Michelle Seets, Community Service Specialist at the high school. "It is our hope that this final service event is a positive and helpful service project experience for the various service sites."