Abby '15 descibes how students
welcomed her to WRA.


WRA strives to inspire our students to care for our planet and one another. Through volunteerism and increased awareness about the world, communities and individuals, students make a difference both locally and globally while at WRA. Students are actively engaged in on-going volunteer roles, from Akron to Cleveland, and participate in monthly events for local organizations throughout the year. Students also have the opportunity to participate in two service learning trips that run annually to the Dominican Republic and South Dakota. Students often report that their favorite days of the year are the annual Go Make a Difference Days, in which the entire school body spends the whole day engaging in community service projects throughout local towns. WRA is committed to broadening the minds of our students to help strengthen the moral leaders of the future. 

Community Service

The student-run REACH  group helps oversee and manage monthly on-campus community service events. Such events include Celebrate Reserve, in which students partner with parents and alumni to raise funds and collect donations for the area food banks. In 2013, the WRA community collected the equivalent of 4,795 meals. REACH also runs our annual Toys for Tots event, which encourages community participation and awareness through a class-based candy cane drive. In 2013, WRA donated 513 toys to the program.

The School also has a student run outREACH group that assists in the planning of off-campus volunteer projects. Currently, students participate in a variety of volunteer roles that coincide with our athletic seasons. Students tutor in Cleveland-area public schools and local libraries, work at area animal programs, or interact with our local senior citizens at community meals. Volunteer opportunities are driven by the excitement and interest of the student body. WRA's location between Cleveland and Akron offers students a plethora of communities to serve. The outREACH leaders also organize several annual community service events, including blood drives, food drives, clothes drives and Go Make a Difference days.

Outreach Travel

Our outreach trips provide students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful service in the context of a cultural immersion experience. Students gain a global perspective as they witness the challenges facing the communities they serve.  

Pine Ridge Reservation
Students travel to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where they partner with Re-Member, a non-profit organization whose aim is to improve living conditions for the Oglala Lakota Sioux on the Reservation. During the week-long trip, participants split their time between service projects and cultural education. On work days, students engage in projects to improve housing infrastructure. Last summer, the group installed trailer skirting, worked on roofs, and built bunkbeds. On days of cultural immersion, students tour important sites on the Reservation, including the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, and hear from community leaders about the history and culture of the Lakota people, as well as the current challenges facing the community.  Students will gain an important perspective about the complicated history between the United States Government and the Lakota people as well as the complexity of the influences, past and present, that contribute to the living conditions on the Reservation today.

Pine Ridge trip makes an impression on students
NOTE: This news article first appeared in September 2013.

The time that a group of Western Reserve Academy students and faculty spent at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota hit the mark.

Dominican Republic
Students travel to the Dominican Republic, where they live and work in two different communities. During the first portion of the nine-day trip, students work on infrastructure projects in a rural area of Jarabacoa. Past trips have focused on building an aqueduct to bring clean running water to a local community. After Jarabacoa, the group relocates to San Pedro de Macoris. Here, students work in the bateyes, communities of Haitian immigrants who work harvesting sugar cane while living in poor conditions. On the final day of the trip, students continue learning about the vibrant culture and history of the Dominican Republic as they tour the capital city of Santo Domingo. The opportunity to work in two communities provides students with a glimpse into what life is like for many in the Dominican Republic.

Service trip brings water to village
NOTE: This news article was posted 7/20/2012.
A WRA group spent a week digging trenches and installing pipe to bring fresh water to the village of La Jagua from a nearby mountain spring.

Stories of Compassion: Service trip to the DR
NOTE: This news article first appeared in the WRA Magazine Spring 2013 issue.

Fourteen members of the Western Reserve Academy community spent almost 10 days in the Dominican Republic over spring break, helping to build an aqueduct and learning about the living conditions of sugar cane workers.
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