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GSA Elects Rising High School Seniors as Board of Directors
photoLoudoun County Public School (LCPS) Superintendent Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick, Good Shepherd Alliance Vice Chair and Youth Director Bob Ohneiser, Student Board Members Will Avdellas (Tuscarora High School) and Taylor Nelson (Broad Run High School) at LCPS Administration Building in Ashburn. Photo courtesy/ Good Shepherd Alliance.
The Good Shepherd Alliance (GSA) http://www.goodshepherdalliance.org is proud to announce its newest student board members for the 2012-2013 school year. Will Avdellas (Tuscarora High School) has accepted the role of Chair and will be supported by Taylor Nelson (Broad Run High School) as Vice Chair of the GSA Youth Advisory Group. Both Will and Taylor will serve as student board members of the GSA Board of Directors as well. Avdellas and Nelson provide the GSA with leadership, volunteerism in social services, and the ability to network with other student organizations, youth groups and community leaders. These students display a passion to plan and initiate programs to get high school youth involved in serving the needs of the indigent and homeless in Loudoun.

GSA collaborated with LCPS Superintendent Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick, Director of Student Services Suzanne Jimenez and Supervisor of Guidance Services Marilyn Jackson to solicit resumes from each Loudoun County high school. GSA Vice Chair and Youth Director Bob Ohneiser along with fellow GSA board members Jim Baratta, Linda Lefebvre, James Thrash and Bahman Batmangheidj assisted in establishing the criteria and the selection process of the student board members.

This is the fourth year that the GSA has invited members of the youth community to participate on their Board of Directors. The Youth Advisory Group works shoulder to shoulder with the board to promote GSA homeless services and programs in Loudoun schools and the GSA pledges its resources and mentoring strengths to support student projects. The student group strives to reach the untapped potential of their 15,000 peers by getting them out and volunteering. Past Youth Advisory Group members have worked with clubs and student organizations at their schools to plan and execute awareness and fundraising projects.

Broad Run High School held a GSA Bake Sale at their sold-out, televised high school basketball game. After matching donations, the group raised $1000 and social awareness for the GSA. A "Heart for the Homeless" Music Fest was held at Founders Hall Ashburn Fire House. Four bands were featured and 70 high school students attended the successful event. Youth group members were also responsible for the creation and sale of a poetry book with poems about “home” written by children, raising funds to go out and perform needed maintenance on a GSA shelter, and throwing a “Sleep-Out” in the Loudoun Valley High School gymnasium which raised $5,000 and awareness about homelessness.

The students who take part on the GSA board take away much from the experience including how to handle leadership and responsibility. They serve as an important connection between the board, their peers and the community, spreading the reality about homelessness while also mobilizing Loudoun’s youth and showing them the importance and satisfaction of volunteering for a cause you care about. To learn more about how your school or business can partner with the GSA Youth Advisory Group, contact Bob Ohneiser at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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