LynxServe Leadership Amplifies Civic Engagement Across Campus
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LynxServe Leadership Amplifies Civic Engagement Across Campus

As the last few hours of sunlight neared on a Saturday afternoon, a group of Upper School students gathered in front of a trailer holding canoes to snap a quick picture evidencing the result of their hard work.

It was the weekend before one of Wolf River Conservancy’s biggest paddling tours, First Paddle Saturday, and the Lynx students had just spent the day building trailers to help the non-profit prepare for the event. Spending their free time volunteering in the community is frequent for LynxServe co-presidents Nikhita Srinivas ‘23 and Hayley McManic ‘23 and vice-president Evan Lewellyn ‘23 and something the three seniors encourage their fellow Lynx to do as well. 

Aside from the curriculum-driven volunteer efforts, Lausanne provides service-learning opportunities for students through the LynxServe program. In alignment with the IB Learner profile pillar of building character through service to others, LynxServe promotes the development of lifelong learners through engagement with the broader community outside the school’s walls. 

Thanks to partnerships with Wolf River Conservancy, Mid-South Food Bank and other organizations, LynxServe has achieved significant community outreach over the years. Now, the program’s leaders are using their positions to further amplify student service efforts by teaming up with organizations on campus.

“LynxServe is aiming to become more integrated with the school through collaboration with other clubs,” Evan said. “In the last year, our focus has been on collaborating with school environmental groups, the National Honor Society and the Student Government Association (SGA) in order to become a pillar at Lausanne.”

Since taking on their roles, the LynxServe trio has seen a significant increase in student engagement. In September, LynxServe partnered with YWCA, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, dignity, freedom and dignity for all, to host a drive for domestic violence victims and women in shelters. The group worked with female athletes in Upper School to promote the drive and had more than 50 volunteers show up to pack essential health items donated by students into to-go bags for victims arriving in shelters. 

“We want to make LynxServe a bigger and more accessible part of Lausanne’s student body,” Nikhita said. “Serving others is a great way for Lausanne students to give back to our community, and we hope to get more and more students involved each year. The club has already grown from last year to this year, and by creating more opportunities and working with more varied groups of people, we plan to get even more students involved.”

Before winter break, the group launched the LynxServe Season of Service, which included Pennies for a Purpose, a schoolwide coin drive. The campaign encouraged students to bring in their change to fund a food drive for Crump Elementary, school supplies for Promise Academy and additional Lausanne community needs. Additionally, the group promotes current volunteer opportunities on the school’s website and works with SGA to help spread the word among students. 

Along with the impact students have made working with the organization, LynxServe has also given its members a greater sense of involvement within the Lausanne community.

“I have always loved volunteering, and being a part LynxServe has taken that interest to another level,” McManic said. “It also has helped me get to know some of my classmates on a deeper level, which makes volunteering together even more meaningful.” 

Rachel Hammons, Director of Lausanne 360 and advisor of LynxServe, says Nikhita, Hayley and Evan have excelled at making it a student-centered service club. 

“This student advocacy is what we want for our students—to find a passion and push to explore, grow and work within that passion,” Hammons said. “Nikhita, Hayley and Evan all bring a different voice to the table when it comes to service, so their teamwork and different leadership styles create a unique experience in helping to connect the Lausanne community to the greater Memphis community. The groundwork they are laying now will help to foster LynxServe growth for future Lynx.”

This story was featured in the Winter 2023 Lausanne Magazine. 

Posted by Shayne Dotson at 13:40