Friday, students of Owensboro Catholic High School SCRUBS Club began their Student Leadership Project, an initiative to help alleviate the needs of students in the foster care system, specifically kids taken into emergency foster care. The SCRUBS Club was founded 21 years ago and stands for Students Creating Respect Using Better Solutions.
“We have a mission of educating our school and our community on drugs and alcohol, teen safety and issues within the community,” explained SCRUBS president, Brooke Boarman. “This year we have a group that’s bigger than any we’ve had before which is awesome to have all the help we have on all the projects such as this.”
To start the project, the students invited community partner, Rosemary Conder from CASA of the Ohio Valley to educate their club about how the foster care system works and what the needs of these children truly are.
“She gave us a really good speech about a 14-year-old girl that was in court for 12 hours; the parent was addicted to meth,” Boarman said. “It really put into perspective the issue and how a kid could go through that, and it’s not their fault.”
This year the club received a grant in the amount of $1,000 that they hope to get both the school and community involved in amplifying that outreach.
“We plan on announcing it at school over the course of a week and ask the school to bring in socks, blankets, toiletry items, comfort items, coloring books; anything a child would want in a backpack if they were taken out of this situation,” explained SCRUBS vice president, Alyssa Beyke. “We are going to take all of it and assemble it into a backpack and collect the items during our lunch period.”
In backpacks, students of the SCRUBS Club are planning on writing individual notes to give the recipients of the backpacks with words of encouragement and support in what is often a very difficult situation.
We have been fortunate to have also been in contact with Owensboro Catholic Middle School teacher, Amanda VanBussum, as she cares for kids in the foster system,” Beyke said. “She has also given us good insight as to what CASA stands for and how to best help these children.”
Frequently when a child is placed in emergency foster care, they may not have their personal items or toys that they are used to. This is the clubs small way of providing comfort to them and trying to fulfill the basic needs of the kids.
“I would advocate for others to be involved in SCRUBS and to really look at the issues that affect modern-day teens and society today. For the past 21 years, we have been in operation, we have expanded and been able to have an impact on issues that are so widespread,” Beyke said. “We get to speak about these issues and work together to benefit the community.”