New UAIS students “get a taste” of their school’s international mission
New UAIS students “get a taste” of their school’s international mission
Posted on 08/23/2018
Students packaging food wearing a hair net

New Utica Academy for International Studies students are rolling up their sleeves and getting right to work to support their new school’s global mission – literally.

UAIS 9th-grade students spent part of their orientation with their hands in rice, dried vegetables and flour packaging 10,000 for needy families in Haiti.

The goal, according to the UAIS Key Club president senior Morgan Aho, was to allow students new to the school get to know each other and to show them what it means to be internationally minded.

“We want the new students to get a taste for what our school is all about,” Aho said. “It shows them how to build character and be leaders not only in school but in the community.”

This is the second year that the school’s 120-member Key Club has sponsored the event as part of the new student orientation day at the International Baccalaureate High School.

The project – funded by the Sterling Heights Kiwanis Club and the UAIS parent booster group – allowed students to package 10,000 meals through the Kids Coalition Against Hunger program.

The dried food packages will be shipped to needy families where they can add water to create casseroles or other meals to feed a family of six.

“I think it’s fun and I’m having a great time,” said ninth-grader Lara Najjar Altinawi. “I am excited about the opportunities we are going to get at this school.”

The UAIS key remains among one of the largest student chapters in Michigan, with nearly a third of the school’s students becoming members.

In addition to the food packaging initiative, the club annually provides tutoring assistance to UCS elementary students, volunteering at area nursing homes and taking part in the library reading buddy program at area libraries.