The members of Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) know how to have fun. At rallies, they chant their slogan, "Yay, SGR, yay!" Their meetings are peppered with playful banter and pirate yells. However, when SGR president junior Cory Choy calls for attention, all chatter ceases.
SGR isn't about saving the world, but getting students to do what they can, Choy says.
It's about cleaning streams, feeding the homeless and promoting recycling throughout the school. It's about becoming familiar with important issues, writing letters and helping the community. "Any and every way that brings people together or does something good for people, that's what SGR is all about," Choy explains.
According to junior Zodiac Maslin-Hahn, students use the group to take action on issues that are important to them. "SGR provides an outlet for things that you care about," she says. "If you care about the environment, then SGR is a place where you can go and actively help the environment."
SGR was formed 15 years ago by students with a desire to improve the world around them, according to club sponsor and physics teacher Richard Moats. Now, the club has grown to more than 50 members and is active in both Blair and its community.
The organization initiated last year's recycling campaign, which brought recycling bins into every classroom. The SGR Spectacular showcased students' abilities, along with an open arm-wrestling competition called "SGRmwrestl-ing," on Feb 8.
Club members also volunteer at Shepherd's Table soup kitchen in Silver Spring and sponsor the educations of two poverty-stricken children in Mozambique and Appalachia.
According to Moats, casual members of the club might not consider SGR a huge commitment, but the club's leaders do. "It's very easy to be a member of SGR, but the leaders are highly devoted. It's fairly time consuming; getting it organized, planning, taking care of paperwork—that takes a lot of work," Moats explains.
Junior Arman Mizani admits that, as treasurer and an active member, being on SGR "does take dedication."
In addition to participating in activities initiated by members, the organization often works with other social action coalitions. "Lots of other groups ask us to work with them. There are a lot of projects that we're asked to do," Mizani says.
Moats believes that a more selfless mindset helps committed members balance their heavy workloads. "They're very globally minded. They think outside the box," Moats says.
Mizani adds that actively helping others is a reward in itself. "When we're out there doing stuff, it's just this feeling like we're doing something," he says. "It's just great."
SGR meets Tuesdays in room 215 at 2:15 and 3:00 p.m.
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