WESTFIELD TWP. — The Cloverleaf Junior Achievement team is celebrating the release of its recent book, “Heroes Over Heroin,” and the nine-member afterschool organization is not slowing down.
The book is named after the nonprofit organization the students created during the 2016-17 school year.
“Someone along the line said they wanted to give back to the community, a discussion took place about drugs and alcohol, and one of the students mentioned losing a friend to heroin,” Cloverleaf teacher and Junior Achievement adviser Jim Humiston said Monday.
Collaboration began with the school’s journalism students to complete book, with students throughout the high school responding to one quote presented to them from a variety of world figures.
The quotes presented ranged from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin to football coach Vince Lombardi, encouraging students to share their own thoughts. The students’ words were turned into the book.
Senior Camryn Werner said the book has gone further than originally thought.
“I think this book is creating a big impact in the community,” Werner said. “I have people coming up to me in the hallway asking, ‘Hey, can you sign this book.’ ”
Copies of the book can be purchased directly from the school by contacting the organization through its social media accounts, and are also available for $15 on Amazon.
Humiston said about 100 books have been sold to date.
Senior Tanzi Buchan said Junior Achievement requires teams to come up with fresh ideas each year, so Cloverleaf students decided to launch another nonprofit organization.
“ … We took Heroes Over Heroin and we didn’t want to stop it there,” she said. “We wanted to continue to give back to the community and we didn’t want to lose Heroes Over Heroin. That’s how we got Double –Play.”
Launched in January, the group’s latest nonprofit aims to benefit local nonprofit organizations such as the United Way of Medina County and Hope Recovery Center through a concept known as “cause marketing.”
The process involves raising money for one charity, which in turn benefits other organizations.
“Basically ‘double-play.’ We give to those organizations and then those organizations give back to us, so like baseball, double-play,” junior Grace Donnelly said.
Senior Jake Kemp said the group decided on the Cloverleaf-Norton boys basketball game to launch the nonprofit. Funds were raised through basket donations and raffle tickets.
The team recently placed third in a Cleveland Junior Achievement competition, winning $250 in the process.
While Cloverleaf students have opted to continue on with their nonprofit companies, projects by the competition typically involve the selling of for-profit products to raise funds.
Humiston said the team got to see that firsthand during the Cleveland competition.
“The teams that we competed against all had some sort of product that they were manufacturing or funneled it out somehow, had it built for them and then sold it,” he said. “We are a little different in that regard.”
Humiston said 90 percent of the group’s income goes back into the community, with the remaining 10 percent covering expenses for travel and competitions.
The team will next compete at Stark State College in North Canton on Wednesday.
Kemp said that during competitions, teams give a five-minute presentation about their product before a panel of judges, with scores tallied based on the team’s responses.
While Heroes Over Heroin and Double-Play have served as successful nonprofits for the team, they will have to come up with something fresh next school year.
“Double-Play is not necessarily going to go away, but it is not going to be our main focus anymore,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly described the situation as a tree, with new branches sprouting from a steady trunk.
Humiston said the team’s dedication to the program speaks volumes.
“I would say the kids are real passionate about giving back into the community. That is what I have taken from this and that they believe in what they are doing,” he said.
“With it being an after-school (program), to have nine kids willingly wanting to participate in something like this speaks loudly to the kids in our school,” Humiston added.