AVRTHS students and staff complete service trip

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AVRTHS students and staff complete service trip
Back row, standing, left to right: Sam Bouchard, Hudson; James Turner, Shrewsbury; Jesse Lemanski and Claritza Taylor, both from Clinton; Hender Morales and Ryan Best, both from Marlborough; Paloma Oliveira, Clinton; and Marta Garcia, Northborough. Front row: Maureen and Kevin Jarvis, Shrewsbury; Chloe Nelson, Clinton; Ana Julia Rocha de Rezende, Marlborough; Alyssia Berghaus, Maynard; and Neil Mansfield, Ashland. Missing from photo is Bill Italiano, West Boylston. Photo/Submitted.

Marlborough – When the question was asked, “What did you do over April Break?,” 10 Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS) students and four staff members had an eager and unique response when they returned to the halls of the high school after April vacation. They participated in AVRTHS” first Learn & Serve Program and completed a myriad of service projects in the Shrewsbury/Worcester area. Assabet partnered with Veterans Inc. and were hosted there three days and two nights at their Independence Hall facility in Shrewsbury.

The students and staff painted hallways at Independence Hall, worked at Habitat for Humanity's Restore in Worcester; visited Project HOAP on Chandler Street; volunteered at St. Anne's Thrift Store and Pantry and the Little Patriot's Pre-school; and served meals at The Mustard Seed and Veterans Inc. Grove Street facility.

Alyssia Berghaus, AVRTHS Director of Pupil Personnel and Guidance Services, led the group, along with teachers Neil Mansfield, Bill Italiano, Maureen Jarvis, and her husband Kevin Jarvis, who volunteered as well.

“The students were great,” Berghaus said upon her return. “We were both exhausted and invigorated by the experience. We all learned so much about homelessness, especially amongst veterans. It was also a great bonding experience for our students and staff.”

Students were also able to put some of their technical skills to use by building shelves for the Little Patriots childcare program run by Veterans Inc. and also in the kitchen by serving meals. The service project culminated at the Veterans Inc. Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, where Mansfield and the students unveiled a handmade memorial commemorating the service of all men and women from all branches of the military. The 4-foot-diameter metal artwork now adorns the mess hall at Veterans Inc. headquarters located on Grove Street.