Students Serving on Teen Boards


McKenzie Morgan at the zoo for her junior curatorship.

Zella Leffel, Staff Writer

Every student has to earn service hours, but some go beyond the typical club service projects or trips to the food bank to get them. How do they do this? Teen boards.

Teen boards are a way to earn service hours while also giving back to the community and gaining experience. One student who serves on several teen boards is junior Carson Knight. He serves on Cleats for Kids, Payne Education and Special Care. It is his way of getting involved in the community and helping others. 

“In Special Care, we have parties every month, and at the parties we play with the kids and help them out,” Knight said. “It’s fun to just hang out with them.”

Aside from helping out kids, Knight has also taken on a leadership role by joinging the Cleats for Kids executive board.

“Right now for Cleats for Kids I am doing a drive at our gym, so hopefully we’ll get some good shoes in there,” Knight said. “I also go into the volunteer room sometimes to sort all the shoes into different sizes and what’s good to go to the kids and what’s not.”

Knight often works with kids, but every teen board is different and can provide different service opportunities. Junior McKenzie Morgan is part of the junior curatorship at the Oklahoma City Zoo, and she works with animals every Saturday. She has gotten to observe how the zoo’s new animals interact with others.

“We just got some new honey badgers and recently I did observation with some white tailed deers because they’re moving around a bit,” Morgan said. “Some new lion cubs were born recently, and we also have a new baby elephant.”

Morgan always wanted to work at the zoo when she was little, and the junior curatorship gave her the chance to do that while also earning service hours.

“I get to work in a different department or area each time, and I really enjoy being so close to animals and learning more about them,” Morgan said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Teen boards can give people the chance to step up and take on leadership roles such as senior Avery Payne who serves on both the Infant Crisis Center and Payne Education Teen Boards. She is involved in the 5K that the Infant Crisis center is putting on this year.

“During the race there are different sections you can host, like one where you can write letters to all the sponsors, or there’s water stops and there are leaders of each one, so you get to be a leader for certain parts,” Payne said. 

Payne, Knight, and Morgan all expressed that they enjoy working with teen boards because they offer experience and involvement beyond some of the  typical service opportunities students take. A quick google search of teen boards will reveal that there are lots of boards to choose from, and applications open in the spring, so those who wish to join one can start their search now. 

“I think that everyone should be on teen boards because they’re good for the community,” Knight said.