This Giving Tuesday, J.T. Alton recognized four 8th graders for their volunteerism, which also coincides with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. 8th Graders Blaine Desjourdy, Adam Charney, Izzy Torres, and Abby Stover were awarded an Athletic Departemental Letter of Commendation, along with various Trojan spirit items for their efforts this year to ensure all students they interact with feel included.
“This is something that we have started doing this year. Making sure these kids get recognized for the time they volunteer, and by reserving it for 8th graders in hopes that the student body will get more involved” said JTA Athletic Director Richard Rowland.
This year both Stover and Torres, who play soccer for NHHS, were asked to assist in the special needs classroom with teacher Samantha Daniel on school-wide club days to provide her students with social interactions with peers. “Izzy and Abby have great attitudes and exhibit kindness to all. Izzy and Abby came into our room as peer buddies to our class and left as friends.” Mrs. Daniel continued by saying, “The girls are positive role models who jumped right in to help guide our students in social interactions.”
Charney, a veteran JTA Football and Basketball player, has been giving his time in the mornings before school to serve breakfast in the same classroom, and provide those students with interactions that are meaningful and memorable. “Adam has made it his mission, every morning to go and get breakfast from the cafeteria to serve to that class, and makes sure they feel included and welcome,” said Rowland.
Desjourdy, who has been an Archer at Alton for the last three years, was recognized for an act of kindness at the first Archery Tournament of the season this year in Shepherdsville. “When we were competing we were informed one of the schools had a student with special needs, and Blaine volunteered to shoot alongside him and help him score his target,” said Head Archery Coach Ryan Neuman, “and he really did a great job with that student in helping him and teaching him.”
After hearing about Desjourdy’s actions, Alton’s Assistant Principal Allison Scherer, collaborated with Rowland in making sure that these students were recognized for their efforts. “There is a true sense of compassion and drive from these students that we want to make others aware of in order to encourage the same attitude.
“All four of these kids have engaged in acts of kindness that will follow them into High School, and into adult life,” said Rowland, “I’m super proud of them and what they do for our building and all of our students, I really wish we could do more to recognize their efforts.”