Non Sibi Weekend is an annual tradition at Andover that celebrates the school motto, “not for self.” Classes were cancelled while students participated in Community Engagement projects around campus and the surrounding area last Friday.
Each grade had a specific theme to their activities. Juniors worked with families and children, Lowers worked with programs involving the environment, Uppers worked on projects helping the hungry and sick, and Seniors focused on housing and homelessness. However, due to the inclement weather, most of the outdoor activities were canceled for the Lowers.
Room to Grow
“We organized the back stock room for an organization called Room to Grow which works on providing supplies and focuses on the emotional stigma of the mothers of the children who they’re helping. They work on making sure that kids have a good and strong childhood in the first three years of development, because that’s a critical step before kindergarten to keep up with their classes and to be at the same academic levels as their peers. I thought it was a really amazing organization and they did a great job of making sure that they also prioritized the mother’s health, and not just the child’s… making sure the mother has people to talk to. I thought it was amazing that there was one organization that could reach all of those levels.” -Eliza Scheer ’20
“I went to the Wish Project. Essentially, it was a warehouse where people make their donations for clothes and furniture for anyone who might be in need of basic things. We sorted all of the incoming clothes and furniture into different piles and different seasons. It felt really good to help the community. It was also a bit sad because in some of the boxes there were birthday presents for kids whose parents couldn’t afford to buy them anything, so it made me really appreciate what I have.” -Anastasia Nikolaeva ’20
“We made crafts like friendship bracelets and cards for kids who are in hospitals. It meant a lot to me because I saw some of my closest friends go through diseases such as cancer and it really hit close to home because they were always in and out of the hospital. It felt really good to give back to kids who were in that specific situation.” -Ryan Kennedy ’20
Mass Audubon Belmont
“I was signed up for Mass Audubon Belmont and we were supposed to do trail maintenance, weed, and build a fence for the goats. It unfortunately got cancelled. I was grateful for the extra time, but it also upset me. To me, non sibi means going out of your way to help others, which many of us didn’t get a chance to do this weekend.” -Sarika Rao ’19
“IMEC [is a] a non-profit organization that sends medical supplies all across the globe. So, myself and a couple of my friends, we were there and we inspected medical supplies to make sure they were still good. If it was good then we repacked it and put it in an area to be shipped off in the next couple weeks or days. Non Sibi in general… I think it’s just to help people here if they’re privileged or nonprivileged. It’s just not something people do all the time…. So that’s very important. It puts things in perspective on your own life and your own experience, and experiences of people less fortunate than yourself.” -Jason Reynolds ’18
“For Non Sibi Weekend I basically worked at a restaurant-style soup kitchen. I served food for people who could not access food themselves. I spoke to some people there and I learned a lot about their lives. It was a very interesting experience. I think Non Sibi Weekend is a very good practice honestly. A lot of students here don’t work with people outside of their socioeconomic group or on their own they may not help out. Non Sibi Weekend gives students a chance to interact with society, their environment, and interact with other people who they would not usually talk to every day.” -Jelani Wilson ’18
“A small group of Seniors went to a women’s center in Boston called Rosie’s Place, [which] helps provide counseling, health services, financial services, and food to homeless women, or women recovering from homelessness. What we, the students, did, was we went to the kitchen and helped prepare a few of the meals and then we were able to actually interact with them and serve them, so it was nice to have some hands-on work and actually encounter the women that were using this organization. It was very humbling to see another side of how people live and getting that experience as students at [Andover]. It was very impactful and it felt nice to give back.” -Laurel Wain ’17