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'Service changes you'

Cary Ashby • Nov 19, 2019 at 8:53 AM

MONROEVILLE — Monroeville High School graduate Darlene Scheid considers community service a way of “giving a gift to the community.”

“It doesn’t have to stop in high school; it doesn’t have to stop in college. You can make a career of it,” said Scheid, a member of the class of 2004.

Scheid is the youth development director of the Community Development for All People in Columbus. It was formed 2003 with the mission of improving the quality of life for people on the south side of the city.

Upon graduating from Monroeville, Scheid said her “plan was to be an ag teacher and take Mr. (Scott) Bauer’s job,” she told current Eagles during an assembly Friday morning. 

“That was going to be my thing,” added Scheid, who discovered she enjoyed handling urban education and equitable housing. “I found my purpose in non-profit work.”

Scheid wasn’t the only Monroeville alumna who shared the impact of community service and service to others on their lives. Amelia Ruggles (class of 2019), a freshman at Capital University, was the main speaker.

The daughter of Marc and Betsy said she didn’t realize how much more she could fall in love with service until she became involved with the Bonner program at Capital. The scholarship program, which focuses on community service and social justice, is in 65 colleges across the nation. Capital students are required to complete 280 hours each school year of community service while being placed at non-profit organizations.

“Service changes you,” said Ruggles, the 2019 Monroeville valedictorian who performed 500 hours of community service by the end of her senior year. 

“It will take you places in life you would never imagine,” she added. “I know I wanted to continue (doing) service in college.”

Ruggles tutors students at the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation. At First English Lutheran Church, she serves meals to the community on Thursdays and on Sundays, she serves breakfasts and assists with the Sunday school program.

“I am not the same person I was a year ago when I started the Bonner program,” said Ruggles, who also told Monroeville students they might be surprised where community service could take them.

Principal Jim Kaczor and athletic director Ben Paul honored recipients of the bronze- and gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Awards during the assembly.

Junior Dale Cherry received the gold award for performing more than 100 hours of community service during the 2018-’19 school year. Kaczor said the teenager “put in a lot time” at Curtain Call Productions doing behind-the-scenes work.

Honored with the bronze award were: Junior Kylee Brooks, senior Grace Newell, junior Eli Ott, junior Callie Rosser, senior Donovan Skiver and Isabel Smith, who graduated in 2019.

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