This month’s National Renaissance Student of the Month is sophomore Sydney Ferrer from Green River High School in Wyoming. Nominator Bradlee Skinner writes:

“Sydney wanted to address two areas of needs in our community and has taken it upon herself to create an action to help. Many students, elementary school through high school, can benefit from improved literacy and reading inns judgement free zone. In addition, our local animal shelter often faces over crowding and have many wonderful animals in need of finding a “furever” home. Sydney is the chairperson for the Shelter Buddies Reading Program which allows students to read to the animals. Students benefit from reading aloud in a safe environment without the pressure of reading in front of a teacher or peers. Sydney then posts photos and videos of the animals being read to on social media platforms. The interaction with the students makes the animals more comfortable and increases their potential of being adopted. Sydney’s vision is to start with the high school, then the middle school and eventually to turn the program over completely to the elementary schools where teachers can identify the students who will benefit the most from participating in the Shelter Buddies Reading Program. Since Sydney started this program the shelter has seen an increase in animal adoptions and support for the program. Sydney is amazing student leader who demonstrates that leaders do not wait for opportunities to lead to come; she creates the opportunity.”

Sydney shares her Renaissance story:

What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
Even though I’ve only been involved with Renaissance for a short amount of time, it’s exciting to see how much can change in a short time, and even more exciting to think about how much can continue to change over the course of the year.

How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?
Renaissance has impacted my school’s culture in ways that other programs couldn’t compare to. By doing little things here and there, our student government has improved student involvement and positivity.

How has Renaissance affected you personally?
Renaissance has showed me that it’s okay to have change in certain settings and that it’s okay to be open to new ideas. It’s also showed me that there are so many great things that happen in school that I and others often overlook. It excites me and makes me want to better my school.

What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?
Always be open to trying new things and learn to love those changes. Give anything you do your best effort especially when it comes to making a change in your school.

Sydney will receive a shirt and a lapel pin, and was entered into a drawing for free registration to this year’s Jostens Renaissance National Conference.

To nominate someone in your school for the National Renaissance Student of the Month honor, click here.

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