This month’s National Renaissance Student of the Month is Emma Litvinchuk from Nipomo High School in Nipomo, California. Nominator Sammie Cervantez writes (lightly edited):
“Emma is everything you want a Renaissance leader to be and more. After years of leadership in student government, Emma decided her true passion lays in connecting students, staff, and the community to the school. She has taken a strong leadership position in our Link Crew class and our Link Crew Club. She is our social media manager which means she is responsible for developing, creating, and publishing all our social media. She has done an amazing job telling our story to our school and our larger community. Emma is active in all things Titan spirit and always takes part in Titan pride events regardless of what club is organizing and sponsoring the event. Emma is thoughtful and inclusive and is always taking the time to think about how our initiatives will impact all members of our school community. You can’t walk away from her without a smile on your face. Our Titan pride wouldn’t be the same without her spirit, dedication, and passion.”
How long have you been involved with Renaissance?
What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
My favorite Renaissance moment so far was when I watched a video from The Harbor series with Mike Smith for the first time. My ASB Leadership teacher had us watch it one day in class and then reflect on it using the discussion guide that came with the video. I really enjoyed the activity, especially because I got to make my own connections to the video afterwards. My teacher continued to assign those videos and reflection sheets to my class as we transitioned into a virtual learning environment last spring, which was great because that also opened me up to all of what the Renaissance program website has to offer. I still enjoy using those resources today and have been continuing to use them in my Link Crew leadership class this year, which has been really fun and beneficial for our school and keeping everyone connected.
How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?
Renaissance has positively impacted my school’s culture in many ways. Being able to access so many different resources at all times and utilize many of them virtually this year has been amazing. Our school enjoys using The Harbor series in our weekly advisory class lessons as well as the Leadership Curriculum that the Renaissance website offers. Our Link Crew leadership program plans many of its events and recognition activities using these resources and has found great success in doing so. With all of the ideas and lessons that we have gotten from Renaissance, our school has been able to create a more positive school culture and become more informed about certain issues beyond what we learn in the classroom.
How has Renaissance affected you personally?
Renaissance has affected me in many ways, but most of all it has helped broaden my perspective of myself and of others, and I especially enjoy The Harbor video series because of that component. It has a little bit of everything and helps inspire how I think about many different things from academics to personal awareness to how I interact with others. A lot of the events I help put on at my school are rooted within the Renaissance program curriculum and over the years I have been able to learn so much more about planning, organization, and inclusivity because of that. Renaissance has overall made me more aware of what I can do to improve myself and of what I can do for others to make their high school experience the best that it can be.
What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?
I would tell someone that is just starting with Renaissance that the program has so much to offer! Renaissance has ideas for just about anything, and in a time where it is difficult to plan events and activities due to distance learning, so many of the ideas it provides can be adjusted and implemented into your school’s events virtually. The amount of resources available to you can seem overwhelming at first, but the website breaks everything down so nicely and is very user-friendly. If you are looking for ways to recognize students and staff on your campus or for ways to educate students about issues that our world faces outside of your school campus in a meaningful way, then Renaissance is the place to go! It has helped me a lot in my years of being involved in high school leadership and I believe that it can help you and your school a lot too!
Emma will receive a shirt and a lapel pin in recognition of her achievement.
To nominate someone in your school for the National Renaissance Student of the Month honor, click here.