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AHS senior starts two new student groups

Austin High School senior Matt Lunning is responsible for two new endeavors at the school this year and he presented his ideas to the Austin School Board on Monday.

The two groups he's helped get off the ground, with the help of AHS Principal Brad Bergstrom, are Project TEAM and Student Union. Lunning brought the ideas for these student organizations to Bergstrom after attending Camp RYLA in April. It's a youth leadership training camp sponsored by the Rotary Club of Austin.

Project TEAM is a student-based mentorship program. One of its points is to look at the value of a student-to-student relationship. Students will be able to tutor others who need help with certain subjects.

"It's a great concept," said school board member David Ruzek.

The group will meet three times a week: Tuesdays during lunch, Wednesdays after school and Thursdays during breakfast. Students who would like to tutor or students who will seek out help will be able to sign up in the commons area of the high school, just outside the counseling office.


Bergstrom said that teachers were supportive of the idea and are willing to help supervise.

An informational meeting will be held this week, Lunning said, and he would like to get the group started on Nov. 28.

"I like the project," said board member Don Fox. "It's going to be a great one. I think student-to-student makes a big difference."

The other group Lunning started is Student Union. Modeled as a combination of the National Honor Society and the Student Council, it's designed to help support the community. Anyone in grades nine-12 is welcome to join the group; there are 25-30 members so far.

"We've had a lot of interest," Lunning said.

Student Union's first fundraiser at the end of October raised $160 from the high school and $200 from the community for personal care items for the Mower County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Bergstrom spoke during the presentation, giving all the credit to Lunning.

"These are all his ideas," Bergstrom said.

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