Representatives from more than two dozen local agencies and organizations met with Washougal High School students at the WHS Volunteer Fair on October 4. Students attended to explore ways to get involved in a wide variety of activities through performing community service and earning volunteer hours.

Each student was invited to select specific organizations to hear from in a series of three ten-minute sessions. Presenters gave an overview of the volunteer opportunities they have to offer and answered student questions. Some groups offered the chance for students to sign up to help on future projects on the spot. Participating organizations represented a diverse set of interests including East County Fire and Rescue, Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, City of Washougal and Share House.

“Students from all grade levels participated,” said Lisa Leonard, WHS Career Specialist. “We also have a number of seniors looking to find an interesting area to focus their senior project work and to find a mentor.”

Students learning about the City of Washougal's volunteer opportunities

“We have had a lot of requests for applications for our Varsity Letter in Community Service,” added Sharron Watts, Career Center Secretary. “That program continues to grow each year.”

WHS Senior ShaylaRay Tyner said she has been close to earning her community service varsity letter but has fallen short reaching the necessary volunteer hours for the award. “This is my last year,” she said. “I can get this!”

Tyner said she enjoys her involvement in the community and has volunteered for Refuel Friday and at her church. “I was really excited to learn more about Clark County Teen Talk at the fair,” she said. “I really like to help my peers. If they are sad I like to do my best to make them feel better.”

WHS Senior Madison Gehrke said it was her senior English teacher, Ms. Carver, that encouraged her to come and learn about these organizations. “It is great to see all of these places we can help,” Gehrke said. “I really like Refuel Friday. I like working with the homeless.” While at the fair, she also volunteered to help at the upcoming Pumpkin Harvest Festival family event in downtown Washougal.