Clermont Northeastern High School’s National Honor Society advisor Steve Thompson, top right, and NHS Vice President Natalie Hoerth, bottom right, discuss the Magnified Giving grant with NEST Executive Director Evangeline DeVol, bottom left, during an online presentation in May. (Photo curtsy Magnified Giving.)

CNE Magnified Giving grant helps feather NEST

By Dick Maloney

Clermont Northeastern High School’s National Honor Society has strengthened the district’s partnership with a community learning center, at a crucial time for education.

The National Honor Society donated $1,000 to NEST Community Learning Center as part of the Magnified Giving Program. CNE and NEST began collaborating during the 2020-2021 school year to keep development going after children leave campus. NEST is based in Loveland and has been working with students in that district since its founding in 2016.

NEST operates mobile units – repurposed RVS, park-and-ride buses etc … - and takes them into the communities they serve. There, they provide nutrition and tutoring help in a calm, quiet environment. NEST, in fact, stands for Nutrition and Education in a Safe Environment equals Transformation. NEST has approximately 200 volunteers – trained, screened and certified – who work with the students.

During an online presentation in May, CNE National Honor Society faculty advisor Steve Thompson explained the importance of NEST, and why the group chose it as the beneficiary of its efforts.

“This was an easy pick for us with the fact that NEST works right in our backyard … the fact that they were founded in March of 2016 with the mission to address the academic and non-academic barriers that perpetuate the cycle of generational poverty within suburban communities and as we look at what's all going on this year with remote learning and talk about NEST taking remote learning to another level, they're bringing the classroom to the front doors of students houses, or wherever they may need to be,” Thompson said.

When most schools went to remote learning n the spring of 2020, Thompson said, more than 3 million students “completely went off the grid,” meaning they were not logging in to school sessions.

“Those are the future leaders of this country and so that's a need that needs to be addressed and needs to be addressed quickly and urgently,” he said.

Natalie Hoerth, the CNE National Honor Society vice president for 2020-2021, said the group chose NEST because “it struck them the most.”

“One thing that connected us to this organization was they give resources to students in need, so that the kids will be on the same playing field when it comes to education and so that they will all be given the same chance as others,” Hoerth said.

National Honor Society President Hollie Daniel was unable to participate in the online presentation, but said earlier this year, “We wanted to do something that helps underprivileged kids and something that involves education as well, and NEST was like the perfect organization for that, and they also work with our school, so that makes it easier to do community service with them as well.”

DeVol praised CNE, saying the she is even looking for a home in the district, and said the money would be put into enhanced program for academics for specifically literacy, “because we know that kids have got to at least be able to read and write on a sixth-grade level if they're ever going to survive on their own.” She also noted that some of the students with whom they work have fallen three to three-and-a-half years behind in their education.

National Honor Society members for 2020-2021 were Hollie Daniel, Natalie Hoerth, Stone McDowell, Nick Craig, Abby Silvers, Claire Stenger, Austin Yeager, Livv Amann, Summit Northrup, Macy Brown, Adin Lopez, Emma Stephan, Kody Becker, Brooklyn Booth, Lauren Best, Hailey Stegemann and Grace Thompson. 

Magnified Giving, based in Evendale, was started by Roger Grein in 2008 to help young people recognize needs in the community and show them how to use their own time, talent and treasure to address those needs. Magnified Giving involves students in the grant-making process, touching their hearts and minds in the process, and ultimately supporting dozens of nonprofits each year with passionate student volunteers and Magnified Giving funds. Students in Clermont County had the chance to support multiple nonprofits through this process.

This was the second year CNE has been involved with Magnified Giving. In 2019, they donated to Racing4Vets and Pilot Dogs. Racing 4Vets, based in Springdale, partners with the Veterans Administration and allows chosen veterans with post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury to recreate race vehicles (in this case, karts) and then race them. Pilot Dogs trains pets to be service animals.