Douglass High School students help out Sol House

SCHOOLS: DOUGLASS HIGH

By CATHERINE NEWHOUSE

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

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Douglass High School raised about $500 for homeless youth at a chili supper fundraiser on Thursday, March 10, English teacher Ginger Donaldson said. The fundraiser benefited Sol House, a transitional living program for homeless youth.

Students pitched in by preparing and serving food, making wall vases to sell to benefit Sol House and helping organize and advertise the event. Winning essays and artwork from a recent student contest were on display.

Mallorie Mikel, who graduated from Douglass this week, the week of March 7, provided the chili recipe after she outmatched teachers to win the chili cookoff last week. She also won third place in the “What is home to you?” essay contest. The winners of both contests were announced Monday, March 7. Mikel’s last day was Wednesday, March 9, and she plans to study radiology in college or enlist in the National Guard.

Mikel said she felt shocked and proud when she found out she won both: “It’s nice, it being my last week of school.”

In her winning essay, Mikel talked about what home meant to her, and how home isn’t necessarily a place, but rather a person or a feeling. Now that she knows about Sol House, she said she’s been telling other teens.

“I know a lot of teenagers who struggle to find a place to live,” Mikel said. “I’m letting people know they are an option, they’re there.”

Mikel also volunteered to greet people and serve chili at the event, and she made a wall vase in her art class to sell to benefit Sol House. “Anything I can do to help them means a lot,” she said.

Senior Jenniva Thompson at first signed up to volunteer for the event because she needed to complete four more community service hours to graduate.

“Then I realized, there’s a lot of kids out there that don’t have anything,” Thompson said. “This is for the Sol House, to help kids get what they need and deserve, a place to stay and people to care about them.”

Senior Evan Dietzel, third place winner of the art contest, said he likes that Douglass High School holds fundraisers for community organizations instead of just their own school.

“It shows they’re not self-oriented,” Dietzel said. “It shows they’re connected to other people instead of just supporting themselves.”

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