Patriots share their passions and find their purpose

Mary Russell, Editor in Chief

“When you have a purpose, something inside you lights up. Everyone has a purpose, but we have a hard time slowing down enough to find what our purpose is,” ASB Activity Coordinator Michelle Munson said.
For the past three years, Munson has given the ASB officers one year to find what makes them light up, one year to develop their passion projects.
“A passion project is an opportunity for an ASB officer to influence the community with something that they are passionate about and something that gives them purpose,” Munson said. “It can be small. It can be big. But it has to be something that creates that light.”
This year, some ASB students have already found what they are passionate about.
Senior Gabie Owens has a smaller-scale project, which she hopes will make a big difference. Owens brought new Liberty students together to eat lunch on December 4 during first and second lunch.
“During the lunch, I got to meet a ton of awesome new students who are so sweet. I cannot wait to get to know them on a more personal level. They are all a blessing, and I can’t wait for what the future has in store for each new student at Liberty,” Owens said.
For Owens, her similar past made her able to connect with these students on a personal level, and it was what inspired her to create this project in the first place.
“I know how hard it is to move to a whole new school,” Owens said. “I have moved five times throughout my life, across the country and in two different states, and it is so challenging. I wanted to find a way to make the transition for students more comfortable for them in high school.”
While Owens’ goal is to connect with fellow students, other ASB officers use their projects to maintain a legacy. Sophomore Cassidy Applegate, for example, used this opportunity to promote Liberty’s beloved service project: Patriots in Pink.
“The inspiration behind my project was to keep a longstanding Liberty tradition alive and create revenue to donate to a charity, as well as running a coin drive to get funds and create a fun class competition,” Applegate said.
With her help, Patriots fight Poverty sold about 400 shirts and raised nearly 5,000 dollars.
Patriots in Pink has been a part of Liberty’s culture for five years, and maintaining a tradition is just another way in which a passion project could be used.
Senior Quinlan Gray has an ambitious passion project to create a new tradition at Liberty: Fun Feb spirit week.
The week before mid-winter break in February, Gray will be leading Fun Feb spirit week for the second year in a row, and he is expecting an increase in participation.
“I want to get seventy percent of students to participate,” Gray said.
Gray’s “light-up factor” is the simplicity of dressing up to show school pride.
“I want kids to show their spirit,” Gray said. “It feels good to walk around in Liberty’s colors and to wear clothes that no one usually wears.”
Because Gray is a senior, he hopes to pass on this project to his younger sister, who would be able to make his project a tradition.
No matter the scale of influence that the project has on the community, Owens believes in the importance of all passion projects.
“Passion projects are important because they give ASB students something to give back to others. We are able to do something that we are passionate about and create change, or even just some smiles,” Owens said.