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Monroeville Teen Leadership students to pay it forward — all day

Cary Ashby • May 3, 2018 at 2:00 PM

MONROEVILLE — The Monroeville Teen Leadership Corps (TLC) class decided to focus this year on paying it forward. So the high school students have a day dedicated to doing just that.

TLC has day full of activities in the village and Norwalk on Monday, which the students are calling Pay It Forward Day.

“The day is all about making a difference and brightening someone’s day,” senior Amelia Ruggles said.

As the 11 students discussed what they wanted to do, they decided to plan something that would mean a lot to them. Ruggles said if they didn’t, they likely wouldn’t work as hard.

“If you’re going to do it, it’s got to mean something to us,” added the daughter of Marc and Betsy.

First up is a teacher’s breakfast. Next, the TLC class will pay for drinks at Lyn Marie’s Coffee, 2 N. Main St., Suite 2-A, Monroeville.

“Then we are going to take baked goods to shut-ins in Monroeville,” Ruggles said. “We contacted local churches and they gave us a list of the people who could do that.”

The TLC class also will distribute ice cream to all the Monroeville students. In the afternoon, the students will deliver care baskets to Gaymont Nursing Center, Norwalk Memorial Home and Fisher-Titus Medical Center.

“Then we end the day by going to Aldi’s and Walmart. At Aldi’s, we are going to put quarters in all the shopping carts and at Walmart, we are going to pay for some people’s groceries,” Ruggles said.

Many of the activities are being funded through a TLC grant.

“I want them to learn that giving back is important. Even the smallest amount of kindness can make a difference in a person’s life,” TLC teacher Rachel Paul said. 

The Monroeville students first completed individual pay-it-forward projects.

“It kind of snowballed into a whole day,” Paul said.

As the class planned Pay It Forward Day, students gave a heads-up to the various businesses about what they wanted to do.

“They were extremely cooperative, which was really nice and thought what we were doing was a great thing,” Ruggles said.

Through her TLC experience, she said she has learned to be a better leader, met new people and done “things that I normally wouldn’t do.” One example of doing something she wouldn’t normally consider was working with CLI, formerly known as Christie Lane Industries. According to christylane.com, CLI is “a private, non-profit business whose core mission is to increase the earnings and status of workers with developmental disabilities.”

“A good leader is someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves and help others and do the right thing,” Ruggles said.

This is the first time for Pay It Forward Day.

“This is a tradition that we are hoping to start,” Ruggles said.

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