TAMPA – It takes more than just the kids to make the holidays special at the Berkeley Preparatory School community. Kim Lawless is the director of communications, engagement, and service learning.
In other words, she is the quarterback of a team that has a lot of talent when it comes to community service. Lawless makes sure student-run fundraising and charitable drives go according to plan.
Her office might as well have a revolving door. Students are constantly coming to her with ideas on ways to help in the community and Lawless is amazed by how much interest Berkeley Prep students have in helping out others in the Tampa Bay area.
“They are always coming into my office with wonderful ideas and it goes on all year, not just during the holidays,” Lawless said. “That’s just one of the special things about this school.”
Lawless, who has a degree from the University of Maryland, saw an opportunity at Berkeley.
“Berkeley has an emphasis on putting people in the world who can make a positive difference,” Lawless said. “The kids came up with the ‘Wrap-In idea,’ a project where the upper and lower division kids meet to wrap presents for the needy.”
The service council that Lawless advises is a regular class that the students have to apply for. It’s all about developing leadership skills and it has worked. There is also a laptop drive, the sponsorship of a school in Ghana, and plenty more. The students manage the events with plenty of advice from Lawless. Her open door policy means that she is ready to receive new ideas every day.
“There’s nothing like the students we have here. They amaze me,’’ Lawless said.