At Keystone, we find and create ways to serve others

Sep 28 2023

At Keystone, we find and create ways to serve others

“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
-Lao Tzu

With service as a tenet of our Cobra Code, we talk a lot at Keystone about helping others. It’s gratifying to see our students and alumni take that commitment to heart and amaze us with the ways they find to serve.

One of our recent alumni, Beril Saygin ‘20, spent her summer cycling from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska as part of the Texas 4000 for Cancer, a 4,000-mile ride over 70 days. Beril, a Plan II Honors student at UT-Austin, will study cancer care disparities for her graduation thesis.
Beril served as her team’s Fitness Chair. In that role, she was tasked with creating a training program, instilling safe cycling practices, and preparing 46 cyclists to ride to Alaska. Beril and her teammates rode up Pikes Peak at 14,000 feet, cycled 150 miles between Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada in one day, and crossed the Continental Divide four times through mountain passes. She did all of this to raise funds for cancer research and community awareness. (Compared to Beril’s accomplishment, my weekend morning bike rides along the San Antonio River feel pretty inconsequential.)

Meanwhile, alum Courtney Chua Stevens ‘04, is running the NYC Marathon in November to raise funds for Rising New York Runners. This program is designed to help children of all ages and abilities build confidence, gain motivation, and develop healthy attitudes toward physical activity that last for life.

Courtney attributes her motivation to run the 26-mile course to her father’s staying physically active during his health struggles. Like the Keystone chapters of Girls on the Run and the boys’ program See Us Run, Courtney has channeled her love for running into helping people. Help her efforts here.

Closer to home on Keystone’s campuses, current Cobras have designed ways to aid people in need. Recently, 4th graders led by Meryem, Mila, Mia, Elena, and Anaika sold donuts, juice, and other goodies to raise funds for the Maui Strong Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation following that island’s devastating fires. These lower schoolers follow in the footsteps of last year’s 8th graders, with Audrey in the lead, who collected supplies for the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Similarly, the Upper School World Language Club in partnership with the Upper School Medical Careers Interest Club just finished collecting toiletries and other supplies for the Center for Refugee Services to help resettle refugees.

Keystone students are also finding ways to fight cancer. Today, Friday, September 30, seniors Niraj and Nandini and the Upper School Medical Careers Interest Club sponsored the “Paletas Against Pediatric Cancer” drive to raise awareness around pediatric cancer.

One of our juniors, Julia, is spearheading an effort next week to raise funds to support lobular breast cancer care research and awareness. Please join us in the Keystone Gym on Thursday, October 5 for our Dig Pink Volleyball game.

Good work to all of our driven and devoted students!

These “pop-up” charity drives complement the ongoing campaigns that Keystone students conduct every year. Middle and Upper School students volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank, high schoolers work for nonprofits throughout the metropolitan region on Upper School Service Day, and even our youngest Cobras at the Little School collect foodstuffs and toys for children and families during the holidays.

Students in the National Honor Society perform service in a variety of ways, including marching in the Annual Lymphoma and Leukemia Society Light Up the Night Walk. Over the past few years, juniors donated funds they raised on Valentine’s Day to Ukraine Refugee resettlement, the San Antonio Food Bank, and the Equal Justice Initiative after reading the book “Just Mercy” in their AP English class. (Keystone then matches the money the students raised to pay for the annual prom.)
We are so proud to see our students living out the Cobra Code in such meaningful ways. As they do so, children and adolescents extend themselves and grow as students and as people. They learn that they have the power to make a real difference in other people’s lives: in the process, Cobras of all ages feel empowered to be their best selves and make their world a better place.

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