APS: Jovenes de Valor having a good year

Published 9:46 am Friday, April 26, 2013

By Carla Conradt, AHS success coach, Jovenes de Valor advisor

Jovenes de Valor is a community of Austin High School students who meet Thursday afternoons to connect, plan volunteer service projects and share laughter.

In October, we took part in United Way of Mower County’s Day of Caring. We spent the day washing windows for an appreciative, elderly Austin resident. Later that month, we helped support “AHS Unity Day” by creating a “I will unite against bullying” pledge banner and decorating our school in the color orange, which is the national color for bully prevention. We sold, organized and delivered candy kisses to students to raise funds for anti-bullying efforts.

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Jovenes de Valor also helps provide day care at parent meetings in our school district, allowing parents to fully participate in their events while their young children are watched and entertained! This year we have offered our volunteer services at Parent Meetings in Spanish, and the ongoing Parent Empowerment Project.

We really enjoy taking part in the annual “Taste of Nations” event at Austin’s Oak Park Mall. This year’s festival was held April 13, and our club members and their families prepared a variety of delicious foods for the public to sample. We offered tamales, fajitas, tostadas, pasta, fruit salad and a hot beverage, atole.

Another highlight this year has included classes with Deb Rentfrow, community nutrition educator with the University of Minnesota Extension. Her “Simply Good Eating” instruction includes tips on how to tell the difference between foods someone “wants” versus “needs,” budget planning and food preparation. We have loved whipping up easy, healthy dishes during her visits to our club. The sloppy joes with cold slaw and yogurt fruit salads were big hits.

Our club also explores post-secondary opportunities and sponsors several Minnesota college tours each year.

At other times, we gather just for fun, such as bowling, roller skating or picnics.

Jovenes de Valor is open to all students at Austin High School, and we are always welcoming new members. For more information, contact Carla Conradt, Jovenes de Valor club advisor, at carla.conradt@austin.k.12.mn.us or by phone at 507-460-1815.