By Alicia Dziak

It’s that time of year again when SGI seventh graders are busy finishing up their Kids Can Make a Difference service projects. For a majority of the school year, students were tasked with working with an organization of their choice and completing community service hours. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some of their projects. Please consider sharing your seventh grader’s KCMAD project! Email us at

For his project, seventh grader Jake Werner chose to work with Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care because they were the organization that took care of his aunt when she was sick. “All of her caregivers were amazing from the nurse to the social worker to the home health aid and the chaplain,” Jake said. “They are all very special people who made a very difficult time for my family easier.”

For the service part of his project, Jake worked with the care team to learn how to take of others and assisted with his aunt when she was sick. “I also did a can drive in a few different areas over several months to make $800 to donate to the organization,” he explained.

Jake noted that his favorite part of the project was getting to know the workers and getting closer with his aunt. “The workers are incredible people who have a hard job, but they always had a smile on their faces and made sure that they were there as a support for the family,” he said. “They helped so much. My aunt was a very special lady who always made sure that family came first and I will make sure that I do too.”

From doing the project, Jake learned to always help out others no matter what the circumstances are. “Even if something seems hard, you get more back than the effort that you put forth,” he said.