By Martha Jacob
Shelby Schelling is the FFA advisor at Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington High School. She, along with Kristi Scott from the school worked together to apply for a special grant in early August this year.
The grant was through the Youth Service America, part of Global Youth Service Network which is a coalition of organizations that share a commitment to mentor, engage and empower young people in their community through volunteering, community service and civic engagement.
Members of the coalition are focused on a wide array of issues and range from global organizations that work across several countries, to local organizations that work in a single village.
After applying for the grant in August, the school was notified just recently that they would receive the $6,000 grant immediately.
Schelling, said, “I am really excited to have the Ripley FFA chapter become a bigger part of the community this year. My main focus is public relations.
“I am excited for this grant and so are the FFA members. We are looking forward to the 9/11 breakfast we have planned on Sept. 15 and are also looking forward to working with other Brown County FFA chapters during the span of this grant.”
Upcoming events planned using the grant funds include making cards for first responders and veterans and then hand delivering them to local first responders units and veterans.
Students will also be taking part in observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day by collecting canned foods to give to local food pantries.
“Several of our students will visit local Underground Railroad sites located in Ripley and classrooms in all grade levels will conduct discussions about the important Martin Luther King played in changing America’s history.
Global Youth Service Day, where students in the district will conduct cooking lessons for the public as well as giving out cookbooks, is also planned.
The Ripley FFA chapter and other area FFA chapters will complete an Ohio River Sweep, plant flowers in downtown Ripley, clean up trash along the side of the road, stain and repair the gazebo in the community cemetery.