At the Newcomer Academy, community service is central to their mission of "Bridging Cultures. Creating Community." The team of educators is dedicated to serving recently immigrated students and families in Barrow County, viewing community service as a reciprocal process that empowers students to make a positive impact while growing in empathy.
For the 2023-2024 school year, we have organized two community service initiatives: the "Newcomer Boutique," a student-run clothes closet, and "Days of Service," monthly field trip where students and teachers volunteer at a local food bank. The "Newcomer Boutique" started as a student-focused initiative to provide donated clothing. It expanded to include more members of the community by having students manage the washing, sorting, and displaying of donations.
Donations are used to organize a Boutique for those in need to select clothing, shoes, and miscellaneous items at no cost with dignity. Students who work on this initiative can also take home any items they or their families need. The "Newcomer Boutique" empowers students who come to the US with little more than the clothes on their backs. It not only provides necessary items but also creates a sense of community and pride among students. "Days of Service" field trips bring together students and community members to provide food to hundreds of neighbors in need, uniting them in the language of hard work and service.
A group of around thirty Newcomer students demonstrated their hardworking and focused efforts during a food distribution event held by the Barrow County Cooperative Benevolence Ministries. The students performed various tasks, including unpacking boxes, filling boxes, loading them into cars, breaking down boxes, and picking up trash. They impressed their fellow volunteers with their work ethic.