By Nathan Ham
A select group of eight Avery County High School students recently had the opportunity to both prepare for their academic future and lend a helping hand.
Through the non-profit organization Mountain Alliance, eight students from the high school toured N.C. State University, UNC-Wilmington and Campbell University, and spent time volunteering in Wilmington with the Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM).
“We are proud to offer this trip to students as we feel that touring colleges allows students the opportunity to envision themselves on a college campus,” said Brittany Starbuck, the Program Director at Mountain Alliance. “We try to include colleges that have differences so students can compare and think about what type of college they would be most happy and successful at.”
Starbuck said that six of the eight students were new to the Mountain Alliance organization, two of them were seniors that had never taken a college tour before and three of the students had never done any type of service work before.
“Any time we can, we add a service component to our trips. We believe the experience of serving others in any capacity is worthwhile,” she said. “We hope to inspire students to keep serving others in their local community and nationally.”
Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry is an organization that serves area communities at the coast by helping repair and rebuild homes and making home accessibility easier.
“The service we completed with WARM was scraping old cracked paint off of a house and repainting it,” Brittany said.
She added that this would not have been possible without the support of Avery County High School’s college advisor.
“Ava Todd plays a large role in making these trips happen for students. The partnership between Mountain Alliance and College Advising Corps is a valuable resource for students,” said Starbuck.