Community Service and the Work of Life

Prior to COVID-19, Nichols School faculty, staff, and students worked in partnership with Journey’s End Refugee Services to host Buffalo’s First Thanksgiving on campus, a time for families new to Buffalo from other parts of the world to share a meal and enjoy some fun activities.
In the absence of an event on campus, the school community has come together for a food drive to provide food and basic essentials to these families. This year’s food drive is supporting families who have relocated to Buffalo, especially many families coming from Afghanistan. For these families, finding community in an unfamiliar place is hard, and the goal of this food drive is to help ease their transition.
Leading the food drive this year are Service and Social Justice Coordinators Caitlin Crowell and Kevin Powers along with Nichols seniors Emmy Franz ’22 and Clare Mooney ’22. With the support of Nichols students and families from all grades, this community food drive is a meaningful gesture to those new to the "City of Good Neighbors."

Franz and Mooney are taking part in a social justice internship as a part of the school’s new Work of Life program, a series of independent studies for select 12th graders to deeply engage with the campus community and the Western New York region in a specific area of focus. As students who have been involved in numerous community service opportunities throughout their time at Nichols, taking on a leadership role organizing this food drive has been an enjoyable experience for Franz and Mooney.
“I did First Thanksgiving as a sophomore and it was so rewarding, being able to help everyone out," Mooney said. I was helping these young kids and doing art with them. It was so much fun and it was great to be able to talk to them and heard their experiences.”
This year, the Work of Life program provides students the opportunity to work in programs of independent study, focusing on topics ranging from media to art curation to community service and more. Along with senior electives such as Research Scholars and Entrepreneurial Studies, it’s an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in an area of interest as they prepare for college and beyond.
“It’s definitely a good learning experience for both of us about how the real world works and how to communicate with people outside our school at Nichols,” Franz said. “It’s really enjoyable that both of us can be in the mindset of helping the community as a class.”

Thank you to everyone who has contributed donations and supported this effort during the season of giving!

To learn more about experiential learning opportunities and the foundation of what makes a Nichols Upper School education exceptional, contact our Admissions Office at 716-332-6325 or admissions@nicholsschool.org.

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Nichols School is a nationally recognized college preparatory coed independent school with a 130-year history.