With dozens of extracurricular clubs and activities to choose from at Newsome High School, sixty students from all grade levels are members of the 1Voice Club, a group that formed six years ago and partners with the 1Voice Foundation to serve families impacted by pediatric cancer.

Newsome senior and club president Sarah Grabau said they support the 1Voice Foundation with many different programs but the largest project involves weekly tutoring of cancer patients and their siblings.

Approximately 10-12 volunteers participate in the tutoring sessions, offered every Tuesday night at 1111 Oakfield Dr., adjacent to Oakfield Lanes. Tutors work with children with cancer and their siblings in Grades K-12. The evening begins with dinner followed by one-on-one or small group tutoring. The evening finishes with an activity, craft or special guest. Recent special guests have included The Giving Tree performing a drum circle and Bess the Book Bus bringing books.

Grabau, who attends most weeks, said she tries to tutor the same children each week because she enjoys the relationship she builds with them.

“We talk about so much more than math and reading, said Grabau. “Being able to support them is really impactful for me.”

1Voice Foundation executive director Mary Ann Massolio said the invaluable service the club provides keeps pediatric cancer patients and their siblings from falling behind academically, since many miss a lot of school due to treatment regimens.

She can’t speak highly enough about her volunteers.

“They’re so enthusiastic and develop relationships with the families they serve,” she said. “With everything bad you read about these days people should know that there are respectful, consistent youth doing good today.”

In addition to the tutoring program, the club also volunteers at more than 20 of the foundation’s family support programs.

These opportunities have instilled a valuable love of community and civic-minded awareness in the club’s members. Grabau graduates this spring and has already looked into club offerings at the university she will be attending in the fall.

“I want to continue serving others and I was happy to see service clubs offered at U.S.F.,” she said.

For more information about the 1Voice Club or the 1Voice Foundation call Massolio at 787-3042 or visit www.1voicefoundation.org.

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.