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Yarmouth students receive grants for community projects

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Yarmouth students receive grants for community projects

YARMOUTH — The Yarmouth Alumni Association recently awarded its second annual Community Stewardship Grant to high school juniors Reed Wommack and Danielle Torres, who will work on community outreach projects. The two students will each receive a $3,000 grant.

The grant opportunity started last year in an effort to fund a
project by a Yarmouth High School junior or sophomore that would meet
an identified local need. The student project could address public health and
welfare, education, or environmentalism issues.

Ben Soule, the alumni coordinator, said the projects selected
this year are special because they focused outside the schools, and a
connection was made with the community.

Torres said her idea for a grant proposal was inspired by
her friendship with an elderly woman. Her project will be a documentary film that portrays the
history of Yarmouth and insights from those who have experienced it. She said the time spent with her older friend has taught her to value the wisdom and knowledge and to record important stories before they are lost. 

"I feel that my project will bring the
youth and the elderly together in a film for all ages," she said in an e-mail Tuesday. "In addition, I
will be working with the Yarmouth Historical Society to create a
permanent exhibit based on the documentary. I am extremely grateful for
this opportunity to explore and share a passion of mine."

According to Soule, Wommack proposed to work with the Royal River Conservation Trust to educate nearby landowners about invasive species in the watershed areas. Soule said Wommack will work to identify and eliminate the invasive plants, but will focus on the community education piece.

"The interview committee really liked that the projects added value to the community by working with the town's not-for-profit organizations," Soule said. "They were inventive and meaningful projects."

In addition to the $3,000 grants, junior Sam Waxman received a $1,000
stipend from the YAA to continue work on the Yarmouth student garden. The garden behind Yarmouth Elementary School was created with the help of last year's grant winners, Conor Giles and Leo Oliva. The Yarmouth School Garden has been able to offer food for the district's lunch program and has become an educational opportunity for classes throughout the district.

"Sam was a good candidate for the $1,000 garden stipend because he took the photographs of the garden last year, and is the president of the environmental club," Soule said. "He had experience and enthusiasm."

Soule said he is looking forward to a future of high school sophomores and juniors sharing their ideas to help local causes.

"These students created projects that will benefit the community," he said. "They are thoughtful and add value to the schools and the community."

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net.