Our Partner Organizations
Student Impact of Westfield started in 1999 to focus on building relationships, offer supportive services and to create a healthy and creative environment for Westfield students. Chief Operating Officer, Traci Dossett, connected with the organization while volunteering with Food Rescue.
"K12 Food Rescue has been near and dear to my heart for many years. Student Impact has been the cornerstone of getting a program established in Westfield by gathering food weekly to feed more than 30 families,” explained Dossett. “As if that wasn’t enough, Danyele [Easterhaus] and her team have involved students with special needs to be the ambassadors for the program, allowing them to learn important vocational skills as well as be the champions of its success. It’s an amazing story all around."
Student Impact has multiple programs to help those in need, including the Back Sack Program, Food Rescue, The Rock and Work Crew. Each program touches the lives of students each and every week.
“Every weekend over 55 students in the Intermediate and Middle Schools take home a backpack filled with food to feed them for the weekend. This is a collaborative effort with Student Impact and Open Doors of Westfield to help ensure no child goes hungry over the weekend,” explained Dossett.
Student Impact also hosts a Work Crew of special needs students from Westfield High School, teaching basic working skills, team building, life skills and much more. The students begin working at jobs within Westfield High School and then graduate to community-based jobs.
“Student Impact is a grassroots organization that has been able to sustain services for 20 years, but this grant will assist in helping the program expand and serve even more children,” explained Danyelle Easterhaus, Executive Director of Student Impact. “The funds will be used to further the reach with our students in our new creative art space at The Rock as well as provide additional mentors for our students.”
The Rock is Student Impact’s primary facility, located in a renovated home near the Westfield schools. It not only houses the Food Rescue sorting area but it is also a safe place where students come to hang out with friends, work on homework, play games, create art and connect with their mentors. The staff and volunteers at The Rock are there to be positive role models that help, guide and mold these young men and women to be responsible, giving adults. The staff works with about 120 students a week…at The Rock alone.
SEP’s grant will be used to not only assist with operations at The Rock, but it will also help fund programs throughout the year to touch the many lives of students in the community.
“Being a teenager is rough. Finding a place where you are unquestionably welcomed, can find mentorship and community, give back to your neighbors in need, all while enjoying being a kid and having fun is such a blessing. Student Impact provides all of that and then some. I’m so grateful that they are a part of our community and that The SEP Foundation can support them!”
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