Manhattan's Only Therapeutic College Prep Independent School

Community Outreach at Stevenson

Valuing and engaging in community service can be important for a number of reasons. The community outreach group is comprised of Stevenson students, who spearhead various volunteer opportunities throughout the school year. The group is led by Mary McGaughan, PsyD and Kim Nguyen (psychology intern). By assisting others in our community, students learn to interact with others, develop a sense of responsibility, and become aware of and develop their strengths. In this group, students work to select causes and organizations that are meaningful to them and that are in need of help. ​For each cause, students work to organize and implement community services efforts to benefit that cause. Our goal is that through this process, they will learn to see things through other people’s perspectives, empathize, compromise and collaborate with their peers, problem solve, and feel accomplished!

Thus far, the students have volunteered at the Sean Casey Animal Shelter in Brooklyn, NY, Part of the Solution (POTS) in the Bronx, and the New Jewish Home in Manhattan. At the animal shelter, group members walked dogs around the neighborhood in multiple rounds. The students were enthusiastic to walk the pups, and some even noted that it felt therapeutic.

At POTS, a non-profit social service agency, the students helped with free lunch service to low-income individuals. It was a long four hours of being on their feet setting places, serving, and clearing dishes for a total of 350 people! All the students were professional, respectful and completely on top of their duties. They did a wonderful job providing services to people who may not always know where their next meal is coming from.

At the New Jewish Home, a non-profit senior living organization, students participated in a creative workshop with seniors. Each student spent time with up to two seniors, who told their stories aloud to which the student transcribed. Topics included Black History Month, reflections on movies, Valentine’s Day, and the founding values of the United States. Stories touched on issues relating to politics, culture, racism, unity, love, and pieces of personal history. The students were fearless in reading the stories aloud in front of everyone in the auditorium. The students opened up their minds by committing to work with this population.

Overall, the group members have had positive experiences and would volunteer at these places again. They were also able to recognize challenges faced and ways in which they dealt with such challenges. The group plans on helping an environmental park organization for the next trip. Stay tuned!