September Newsletter: All things #CASTkids!

Two weeks ago, Taylor and I walked into our first Early College High School Student CAST meeting. We were so excited…it sort of felt like the first day of school for us and we were ready to kick off the school year for CAST. As we rounded the corner, we could hear the buzz before we saw it. Imagine…walking into a PACKED room of students! We had to borrow chairs from other classrooms and the two dozen donuts we brought for snack were quickly cut in half to provide enough for everyone. Students were so excited…eager to sign up for serving opportunities, learn more about the upcoming Lock In and even asking about the summer trip to Aliquippa. This newsletter is packed with information about our students and the impact they are making in our community.

You will have the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with some of these students on October 9 at the Food Bank. The students are off school that day and will be joining us as we serve. And… we will have an ice cream truck and tshirts at the end of our volunteer time . I can’t think of a better way to connect with these incredible kids!

With gratitude,

Sonja White

Executive Director

"Locked In with CAST"

In September, we held our first ever student Lock In and it was a HUGE success. 13 high school students joined us for a night locked in at The One Center where students had the opportunity to have fun, build relationships and share what CAST and its community means to them.

The night was full of friends, fun, a two hour game of "hide and seek" but most importantly, it was a night for our #CASTkids,who work so hard and lead so well, to just kick back and spend an evening having fun!

Being a former #CASTkid, I know just how important the friendships I made through CAST have been for my life. I have been blessed with so many lifelong friendships thanks to CAST and I am so excited that this next generation of #CASTkids are beginning to experience this same thing. This Lock In was just the beginning for these friends and I can not wait to see how these friendships continue to grow over the next few years! -Taylor McCarthy, CASTkids Coordinator

A special thanks to Eva and Ashanti for helping to make our Lock In Possible!

Matt Smith, a Jackson High School student and friend of the RippleFX family put together this AMAZING documentary-style video about the CAST/Rivertree Jackson Trip to Aliquippa this past summer. We encourage you to watch the video linked above..the story Matt tells through video is so special.

Aliquippa, PA

One of our biggest highlights of this year was our trip to Aliquippa, PA to serve alongside RippleFX and 4 of our #CASTkids.

It truly was a special week where students and leaders alike learned how impactful serving is and how serving others truly is a two way street.

Blessing Boot Camp!

Summer Three

Our Third Summer of Blessing Boot Camp was a big success! This summer we welcomed 15 middle schoolers and a team of 5 High School Leaders to the One Center each Tuesday to complete different service learning projects.

This summer our middle school students worked to spread cheer and positivity by chalking the walk, painting and hiding rocks and frosting cookies. They sorted through clothing at The Refuge of Hope and helped keep their gardens free from weeds all summer long. This crew built 15 Blanket bundles and made 15 pillows for The Children's Toy Fund that they hand delivered to Project Kare to bring comfort to children in Foster care.

Our #CASTkids made such an impact in their community this summer and still had time for a lot of fun! Whether it was dance battles, water days, tie dye, "candy cane olympics" or the never ending rounds of "marshmallow madness" the smiles were endless and the laughs were contagious. It's so much fun to step back and watch students experience the joy that comes from serving others.

A special shout out to our incredible team of High School leaders!

Nick, Zaryiah, Josh, Alaina, Chris, and Aunaleigh..this summer was only possible thanks to you and all of your hard work.


This summer we also had the amazing opportunity to send a #CASTkid from Early College High School to Wildside to volunteer on workcrew! This was an incredible opportunity for Alaina to grow not only as a leader but in her relationship with the Lord as well.

We are so excited for Alaina to volunteer on a RippleFX workcrew again in the future and we can’t wait to see how many of her CAST friends she is going to bring along next time!

CAST is so excited to be in seven different schools for the 2023/24 School Year!

McKinley High School

Central Catholic High School

Arts Academy

STEAMM Academy

AIM Academy


Early College High School

CAST provides a safe place for students to gather and volunteer in our community. The students’ self-confidence, self-esteem, and sense of accomplishment grows by joining the CAST family. The students gain a sense of pride and identity while serving in our community.- Patty Hairston, ECHS CAST Advisor

Zaryiah Williams, 10th Grade

Refuge of Hope Leader

Tooba Sindhu, 11th Grade

Habitat For Humanity Leader

"Initially, to me CAST meant to get my service hours while helping the community. Soon, however, it started to feel like a family I am part of. I love serving with new or old friends and I really admire all the leaders and supervisors of CAST."

Meet our 2023/24 School Year Leaders!

Nick Sharpe, 11th Grade

Stark County Humane Society Leader

"To me CAST is not only volunteering, its a community with great people, great bonds and friendships. CAST brings the best out of everyone!"

Oliver Wilkes, 10th Grade

Akron Canton Regional Food Bank

"CAST is something that gives my free Saturdays a purpose."

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