Community Voices: Youth Volunteers Club in Montgomery County

April 20, 2022
  |   9 Comments

Official Winner of The Nextdoor 100!

On Monday, May 23, 2022 Nextdoor announced the Nextdoor 100 Winners! The Wootton High School Youth Volunteers Club is a winner! With more than 46,000 entries nationwide, this is an incredible achievement!

Wootton High School Youth Volunteers Club

We are Grace Chen, Aiden Chee, Shanna Deng, Joanne Fan, Aiden Hu, Joanne Li, Miduo Sun, Ethan Wang, Elaine Wang and Kent Zhang from Thomas Wootton High School Youth Volunteers Club, Jonathan Fan, Jacen Li and Alex Liu from Montgomery Blair High School and Mikayla Hu from Cabin John Middle School.

We started our journey in 2019 at a neighborhood litter cleanup organized by Ana Arriaza of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. This simple but deeply meaningful experience kickstarted our determination to help others and our desire to protect the environment; fast-forward a year, and that initial seed of determination has transformed into a thriving high school club responsible for managing a litter cleanup volunteer program.

Plogging Challenge

By Grace Chen, Shanna Deng, Joanne Fan, Jonathan Fan, Mikayla Hu and Miduo Sun

We were plogging along Darnestown Road and Dufief Mill Road and were shocked to discover just how much litter is thrown out around the neighborhood. We found plastic bags, cans, water bottles, cups, food packaging—basically every kind of trash you can think of—carelessly scattered along the streets and in the woods. People who litter might not think it’s a big deal – it’s just one plastic bag, one water bottle that they leave behind for convenience; however, over time that litter accumulates—fast. Plastic litter is our top concern because rainwater and wind will carry plastic waste into streams and rivers, and eventually into the ocean, endangering countless marine animals that live there.

  • 100 million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone! ¹
  • Plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10-20 years to decompose, while plastic bottles take 450 years.² Some plastic items could take up to a thousand years to decompose in landfills. These are alarming facts that we cannot ignore.

We feel compelled to share what we have found with our local community.

Please don’t litter; take care of your neighborhood! If you do see litter, please pick it up and dispose of it properly.

Support the Montgomery Plogs Challenge!

Let’s walk/jog and plog!

 

Accomplishments!

Since joining the Plogging Challenge in 2021, the group has accrued over 250 student volunteers and 600 SSL hours to date. Our club is in the running to be included on the finalist of Nextdoor 100 Super Amazing Neighbors/organizations for the positive impacts/contributions they have made during the pandemic to make our neighborhoods clean and welcoming for all residents.

We are very proud of all that we’ve been able to do for our community, and we hope that our passion to serve continues to grow with time and spread, like a spark becoming a wildfire, to students and schools all throughout Montgomery County. Altruism is a profoundly fulfilling experience that every student deserves to enjoy and of which every community deserves to reap the benefits.

We want to thank all volunteers from Youth Volunteers Club in Montgomery County whose names cannot be listed here one by one.

Together we can make our world better!

 

Blog written by:

Grace Chen, Aiden Chee, Shanna Deng, Joanne Fan, Aiden Hu, Joanne Li, Miduo Sun, Ethan Wang, Elaine Wang and Kent Zhang from Thomas Wootton High School Youth Volunteers Club , Jonathan Fan, Jacen Li and Alex Liu from Montgomery Blair High School and Mikayla Hu from Cabin John Middle School

¹https://earth.org/data_visualization/how-many-marine-animals-does-ocean-plastic-kill/

²https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2011/01/26/our-oceans-a-plastic-soup/#:~:text=Trash%20Travels%20estimates%20that%20plastic,into%20smaller%20and%20smaller%20fragments.



9 comments on "Community Voices: Youth Volunteers Club in Montgomery County"

  1. Jim Hu says:

    “learning by doing” is the good approach to show how much we care about our community. Day by day, those young children participate this community activities to show how much effort they put to make our environment a better place to live. I am very proud of those young children. Great Job! Wootton High School Youth Volunteers Club!

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      Thank you, we are very excited about their accomplishment and dedication!

  2. Marie Gignilliat says:

    Fantastic work! Thank you for setting such wonderful examples for future generations to follow. Much appreciated!!

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      We couldn’t agree more!

  3. Tim says:

    Lovely kids and great services to the community. Their voluntary activities helped beautifying the neighborhood and improving the quality of life of their neighbors. Thank you!

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      The group is fantastic and the work in their community greatly appreciated!

  4. Charlene says:

    Wow! Amazing team. Thank you for caring.

    1. Ana Arriaza says:

      We totally agree!

  5. Laura Davis-Vaughan says:

    This is wonderful! Wtg, superstars! <3

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