AST has years’ long tradition of community service

Residents of the Cantata and AST students share a visit together.

Morgan DiVittorio, Story Editor

Imagine walking into school and seeing a group of people parading around wearing shirts saying “Go make me a sandwich, women.” Not only had no one said anything, some adults were condoning it, and thought it was funny. This was the atmosphere in the RB hallways about ten years ago until a group of students decided to change it.

A few students walked into Social Studies teacher John Beasley’s room and told him about the racial segregation, sexist mentality, and overall ignorance of some of the student body and other faculty members.  Now, a decade later, these problems help start off AST with monthly discussions about different topics.

“This is a very student driven club,” Beasley said. “I’m just there to help support and encourage them.”

In recent years, Beasley has seen a rise in people coming every month to discuss topics that the students bring up themselves.

After a few years of group discussions, the students had an idea.

“We all realized that the best way to bring people together is through community service,” Beasley said.

AST has organized Thanksgiving and Christmas drives for homeless shelters, volunteering at soup kitchens, and bell ringing for the Salvation Army. However, the most notable act AST has participated in is visiting the Cantata Center weekly.

About five years ago a student had an idea to visit the former British Home to spend time with the elderly. Beasley and the students saw how much this brought joy to the residents, so they decided to make visiting their weekly mission. Now, every Wednesday the group heads over to Cantata right after school.

“Seeing the residents every week really brightens up my day because they’re always so grateful to see us,” AST President Molly Cunningham said.

Many of the residents have grown up in the Brookfield area, so they either went to or know people who went to RB.

“They love hearing about and seeing how RB is now. Seeing us is like a reminder of where they came from and always gets them talking about their pasts,” Cunningham said.

Appreciation from the residents reinforces the joy of community service.

“Seeing how happy they are when we play games with them, and even just talking to them really shows people how it’s the little things that can make a difference,” Cunningham said.

AST is also a club that aims to help students come out of their shells.  Students need to learn to be loud and outgoing to bond with most of the residents.  Their unofficial motto says it all:  Come and leave your ego at the door.

If you didn’t make a fool of yourself, you didn’t do it right.