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‘It’s truly inspiring’: Archer in Action Fair highlights service, activism work, motivates community involvement

Photo credit: Ella Schwartz
Middle school students listen to upper school students explain the Riviera Foundation, which is an organization that encourages tennis players to recycle their old tennis balls. Tenth through 12th grade students educated the community about the activism and service they are involved in at the Archer in Action Fair Friday, Nov. 8.

Poster boards and candy filled the courtyard in celebration of students’ service and activism work during lunch Wednesday, Nov. 8. Tenth through 12th grade students set up posters describing the service and activism they are involved in. Only 10th-12th graders were able to present their service work because they are the only grades eligible for a bronze, silver or gold service medal.

The Artemis Center and the Service Squad held the Archer in Action Fair this year. The fair’s purpose is to encourage students to showcase the projects they are involved in. 

Director of the Artemis Center Beth Gold said one of the main goals for this year’s fair was to show how all students can get involved in service and activism. She said the fair is an opportunity to make students aware of the impactful contributions their classmates are making to society. 

“Ms. Shirk and I think it’s really important that students think about the world beyond themselves,” Gold said. “[They should also] think about how they can contribute to being a civic agent, whether that’s in a service project by volunteering their time and helping others individually. The goal is to make them aware of issues in their community and to feel empowered that they can have a voice and have some agency in making the world a better place, starting with their own local community.”

Many students who participated in the fair have created their own service organizations. Some started them in ninth grade after crafting a service proposal in Gold’s or Shirk’s history class. Each freshman is required to create their own service learning project proposal at the end of ninth grade. Many go on to volunteer with the organizations they chose for the proposal or lead their own.  

For her service project, Jordanna Boxer-Wachler (‘24) created an organization called Art for the Ages that connects senior citizens to art therapy opportunities. She created her organization in 10th grade after planning it in her ninth grade history class. She presented her project for the third time at the Archer in Action fair. 

“I really wanted to do community service, especially after Ms. Gold’s ninth grade class, but I knew that I needed to incorporate my passions into it,” Boxer-Wachler said. “I’ve been passionate about photography for years, and I thought of a way to combine that side of who I am to service.” 

Boxer-Wachler has been running Art for the Ages for three years now. She has recently been visiting senior homes to present her photography and donate her art pieces and specific art projects. 

“I’ve segued into a few other different paths as well,” Boxer-Wachler said. “I lead art projects in some of the homes since many studies show art therapy is beneficial for cognitive and physical functions.”

Mia Vosicher (‘25) participated in the Archer in Action Fair for the first time this year. Through her work with ENGin, Vosicher supports Ukrainian students from ages 9-35 by tutoring them in English. 

“I first heard about [ENGin] through social media,” Vosicher said. “It came up because I follow a lot of Ukrainian help accounts because of my personal heritage — my dad’s from Ukraine; we have a lot of personal connections to the war. I just started working with them this summer, so I’ve been accumulating buddies and students that I’ve been having continuous conversations with.”

Besides running Art for the Ages, Boxer-Wachler is also involved in Archer’s Service Squad. She said she appreciates being able to engage in service through the Archer community and getting to know what programs and organizations students are involved with. 

“[Service Squad] has been a great way to learn about all of the other projects, which are so impressive and making a change,” Boxer-Wachler said. “I am able to do something bigger than just my project.”

Rachel Michiel (’25) also presented her service project for the first time this year. She said she enjoyed being able to promote services for helping food insecurity and supporting food banks. Besides presenting, Michiel said she was excited to learn about all of the other organizations at the fair.

“I remember being a freshman and having to do my service project in ninth grade and just not knowing what to do it about,” Michiel said. “Seeing these concrete organizations that aren’t heavily implemented in society is really cool and inspiring.”

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About the Contributor
Ella Schwartz, Managing Editor
Ella Schwartz joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is currently the managing editor in 2023. She is on the board of the Best Buddies Club and Jewish Student Union.

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