Grade 8 student Stephen Kosco '20 is featured in this month's Akron Life Magazine for Old Trail School's volunteer work at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
The magazine is now available at all popular newsstands and includes the following article:
It only took a little more than two hours during the school day for eighth-grade student Stephen Kosco and his Old Trail School classmates to impact thousands of their neighbors.
On a recent October shift volunteering at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, they packed up enough food to feed 5,000 locals. The experience opened Kosco's eyes to how a little bit of effort can help so many people who don't always know where their next meal is coming from.
"I've been privileged and never had the problem of a lack of food," says the 13-year-old student council president. "Just knowing people are suffering from that and being able to help them made me feel really good."
Kosco and his group packed up boxes of canned goods such as corn and green beans to help feed their neighbors who don't have regular access to nutritious food – including more than 80,500 people in Summit County alone.
Their work at the food bank is a recurring service experience required for Old Trail middle school students. The goal is to teach them how to advocate for others and develop leadership skills, compassion and empathy.
Eighth-grade students also sell doughnuts and hot cocoa in the cafe at Old Trail once a month to raise money for the food bank. Other volunteer opportunities students participate in throughout the year include creating and donating no-sew fleece blankets for patients at Akron Children's Hospital.
At the food bank, Kosco learned how to take the initiative to help others by jumping right into the work. He hopes to continue volunteering and suggests others take a few others out of their day to help people in their community who are often more in need than you realize.
"It's opened up a window that people are not all equal in levels," he says. "It is not a very difficult thing to do, and you're helping other people have a better life."