Lee's Summit Journal

New inspirational messages can be seen at Pleasant Lea Middle School

Sixteen students participated in the empowerment project.
Sixteen students participated in the empowerment project. Courtesy photo

The writing on the wall

New inspirational messages can be seen at Pleasant Lea Middle School, thanks to a four-hour effort Dec. 8 by local artists, art teachers, students and a community organization called Lee’s Summit CARES.

The messages were created in one boys’ restroom, a girls’ restroom and the staff restroom.

“We are calling it empowerment art,” said Lindsay Weiss, youth outreach coordinator for Lee’s Summit CARES. “It was inspirational watching these creative and kind students give their time and efforts for this project.”

Sixteen students participated — from Pleasant Lea Middle School, Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit West High School and Summit Technology Academy.

Pleasant Lea Assistant Principal Kimberly Alonzo and art teachers Brooke Linquist and Jennifer Shults spearheaded the project along with Jaime Lyon of In Joy LLC and I Am Noticed.

“We hope the students feel empowered and engaged when they see the new positive messages in their school,” Weiss said.

Youth in Government accolades

Students from all three Lee’s Summit high schools earned special designations at the Missouri Youth in Government state convention earlier this fall.

From Lee’s Summit High School: Aidan Clark, lieutenant governor; Sebastian Mayhugh, speaker of the House; Anna Stephenson, Best Senate Bill Award; Grace Stephenson, Outstanding Statesperson Award; Payton Stropes, author of the first bill passed by both houses and signed by the youth governor.

From Lee’s Summit North High School: Grant Godard, Missouri secretary of state; Matthew DeBacker, House floor leader; Mimi Brown, House secretary; Jack Graham, Senate committee chairman; Natalie Temple, House committee chairman; Autumn Edwards, Xavior Lewis and Abby Fry, Missouri judges.

Lewis became the first student in Lee’s Summit North history to serve as both a judge and attorney in the State Convention.

From Lee’s Summit West High School: Neily Randall, lieutenant governor; Mason Williams, House speaker; Maryam Khalil, best judicial mentor; Alton Simpkins, best judicial newcomer; Uzoaku Okafor, best team player.

Teens pitch in for women fleeing domestic violence

Students from two Lee’s Summit high schools helped a local organization collect feminine hygiene products earlier this month for residents of domestic violence shelters, as well as women in need around the world.

The sixth annual drive, sponsored by Giving Hope & Help Inc., focused on collecting sanitary napkins, tampons and packaged underwear for women and children.

For the third straight year, some members of the Lee’s Summit North High School football team — with Head Coach Jamar Mozee — volunteered at the drive , which took place Dec. 8 on the Country Club Plaza. The players greeted donors at their cars and transferred items to vehicles from local domestic violence shelters.

The Westside Girls Dance Team from Lee’s Summit West High School led a school-wide drive for products and delivered them on Dec. 8.

“(It’s) such a statement to have the students there to support this great cause,” said Jessica McClellan, founder and president of Giving Hope & Help Inc.

313 pounds of love for troops overseas

Underwood Elementary and Lee’s Summit North High School have sent 33 packages — weighing a combined 313 pounds — to troops deployed overseas.

The packages, sent through the Adopt-a-Soldier campaign, contained more than $1,000 worth of food, toiletries, batteries, toys, books, games, cards and letters from home. The postage came to $602.85. All money was raised by the students and staff of the two schools.

Lee’s Summit North junior Calla Lilly brought in enough items to fill nearly half of the 14 packages sent by the high school. all of the packages sent by the school. Senior Abby Castle brought in nearly 200 holiday cards for the troops, and junior Lindsey Morris helped with collecting APO addresses of the recipients.