Public Relations team serves community alongside local organizations

Kate Bauer, Staff Writer

PRBy Staff Writer: Kate Bauer

Howell High School’s Public Relations Team is continuing to give back to the community after ten consecutive years of public service. The group of Marketing II students volunteer their time to participate in events in and around Howell to improve their business skills and contribute to the community.

The PR team consists of five members that are selected by the Marketing II teacher, Mr. Tim Olszewski. This year’s team consists of seniors Paige Blythe, Danielle Hamilton, and Maggie Jenison, and juniors McKinzie Baad and Raya Parks.

Beginning in October, the team has been working with United Way, an organization that works toward community change. The team volunteers with United Way and their partners such as the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and LACASA. The students of the PR team get the opportunity to work with these organizations on a professional plane while also making a difference in their community.

“It [the PR team] is an important component to the store,” says PR founder Mr. Olszewski. “I think it is valuable to give back to the community and it provides a positive professional experience for the students.”

The goal of the team is to participate in events or volunteer for organizations at least once a day. The students partake in community affairs during the fourth and fifth hours of the school day. On Mondays, the team visits Town Commons Retirement home where they visit and play games with the residents. The team enjoys these routine visits because they can see how happy it makes the senior citizens.

The PR team recently was involved in the ‘Place at the Table’, a presentation from the Hunger Council on November 22 at the 242 church in Brighton, and ‘Lunch Buddies’ at various Howell elementary schools.

“I like being involved because it gives you a way to perform community service and there are a lot of opportunities,” says Blythe.

Over the past ten years, the team participates in a video contest for United Way, where they construct a video that includes all the people they’ve helped during the year and how they have contributed to United Way.

On most days, the team leaves the Howell Campus to volunteer at various organizations. At the Salvation Army, they have been helping prepare for future fundraisers. The team is also working on some of their own fundraisers, such as the Penny War, which is set to take place in January.

Unfortunately, the team is unable to expand in size, but the members are always looking for ways to improve.

“This year we added different varieties of services,” says Jenison. “It’s good to know as a high school student what’s going on because most high school students aren’t aware of what’s happening in their community when it comes to people in need.”

Only juniors and seniors are eligible for the team, leaving juniors Raya Parks and McKinizie Baad in command for the 2014-2015 school year.

“I plan to start earlier and explain what the purpose is to the incoming group of PR students and how it helps you connect to with the community and see what’s going on,” says Parks.

The Public Relations team was designed to help the students learn some of the other aspects of business that aren’t usually seen as part of the job.

“It [the PR team] has helped me realize that giving back to the community is important and a must in business,” says Hamilton. “Before doing this, I didn’t realize the types of things these organizations do and how many people are in need.”