PCHS senior serves as Junior Civitan governor
By Nicole Burns for the FCT
“It’s made me more confident to stand before a group of people and speak.”
PCHS’ 17 year-old Leah Gunderman has the unique opportunity to speak to international audiences. The Phil Campbell High School senior is currently serving as the governor of the Alabama North Junior Civitan District.
The Alabama North is the largest district in the Junior Civitan International organization, with the PCHS club being the largest and most active of any clubs in Alabama. “I orchestrate district meetings, officer training and the annual district conference,” said Gunderman. “I also have to go to international conventions and keep the international board updated with all we’re doing.”
Gunderman said the volunteer position has opened her world to wonderful people. “I’ve enjoyed getting to meet other people on an international level. I’ve gotten to meet people from Canada and even Sierra Leone in West Africa.”
The Junior Civitan is an organization of youth service clubs dedicated to making the world a better place with a focus on community service and social awareness. Gunderman said last year’s service project for the Alabama North district raised more than $2,000 for a cancer unit in Huntsville.
“In January, I’ll fly to Canada for Sno-Do. It’s an event where all the governors meet in Ontario. You have to raise money, so that’s what I’m working on right now. My goal is to raise $3,000.” The money raised benefits the Civitan International Research Center. “They do research on developmental disabilities like Down Syndrome and brain cancers,” Gunderman said.
People can help Gunderman by making an online donation at www.juniorcivitan.org/donate.
“This experience has improved my skills with not only working with other people but listening to other people’s ideas,” said Gunderman. Her term will come to an end in May when her district will vote in another governor. After graduation, Gunderman said she plans to attend NW-SCC before transferring to UNA to finish her education in anesthesia nursing.
Gunderman became a little emotional when asked about her time with Junior Civitan coming to an end. She said she will continue with community service throughout life because Junior Civitan is giving her a lasting passion to help others.