The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

Lions Helping Lions: West Linn aids lions in Africa

West Linn Lions are thriving—in the classroom, in activities and athletics-as well as within the community. The story for lions in African countries such as Kenya, is dramatically different.

Lions Helping Lions, a fundraiser set up by West Linn students and staff, ran through March and ended just before Spring Break. The program was meant to create awareness about the endangered species.

During the last 50 years, the population of lions in Africa has dropped from around 450,000 to 20,000 due to hunting and illegal poaching of the cats by natives, outsiders and invasion by human civilization.

Lions Helping Lions is a part of a larger organization called National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative, designed to halt the extinction of the world’s wild cat population. By collecting donations, the Big Cat Initiative purchases reserves and educates about the conditions of the big cats.

The Lions Helping Lions fundraiser encouraged West Linn students and staff to donate to one of several jugs set in the library. In addition, a movie called “The Last Lion” was shown the week of March 12. The film focused mainly on the loss of wild cat habitat. There was also a community showing of the film on March 21, and students handed out fliers to further assist in raising awareness.

According to Associated Student Body adviser Butch Self, there was no particular fundraising goal. The first weeks of the fundraiser were a bit rough, he said, due to basketball playoffs, but the last two weeks before Spring Break were the big push.

Self estimates around $1,000 was raised, but the final count has not been made. Over $700 was raised from an auction of a lion painting held on March 21, and a couple hundred more is expected to come from the donations made by students.

Not only was Lions Helping Lions an effort of high school students, but it also involved a second grade class from Willamette Elementary that worked with high school students on storybooks and paintings. High school students cooperated with the class to create the painting auctioned in late March.

“I think the effort itself is important,” Butch Self, leadership teacher, said. “If everybody could give a dollar, that would be a great start.”

Although there was no specific goal, Self hoped to make an impact financially and raise awareness about the ecological issue. He said that consciousness of community members is the most important outcome for Lions Helping Lions.

“I kind of hoped we would raise more as a school,” Self said. “It’s not gonna be an easy band-aid fix, but we gotta start somewhere.”

Lions Helping Lions may be continued each year, and eventually West Linn students may decide to spread the fundraiser to other schools.

“Once we kind of get this rolling, maybe we can expand,” Self said.

For more information on fundraising and endangerment of big felines, visit the website of National Geographic (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/big-cats/).

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Camille Collier
Camille Collier, Editor-In-Chief
During eighth grade, young Camille Collier, senior, was in her language arts class taught by Graeme Sandell at Rosemont Ridge Middle School. While many eighth graders sit and stare at the wall not thinking about their futures, Collier was doing just the opposite. At this time, she had decided that she wanted to be a part of the Amplifier during her high school years. “Mr. Sandell really aided my interest in writing,” Collier said. On the first day of freshman year, Collier walked into the Amplifier classroom and has worked her way to becoming the editor-in-chief. Over the past three years, Collier has made countless memories during her time in Amplifier. “The obvious reason I love this class is because of the people,” Collier said. “The other staff members I have the privilege of working beside present different views and really work well as a cohesive whole. I am delighted that there is a group of teenagers out there as competent as the staff.” Not only does Collier enjoy the people she is surrounded with, but the demanding environment that is the journalism world. “I just love the sense of urgency that is journalism. Without it, it makes it kind of a bore so having to work feverishly to track down people to interview, write, edit, and upload a story is a really accomplished feeling.” Not only does she have an admiration and respect for her classmates, but they feel the same way about Collier. “She’s a really funny and intelligent person,” Nicole Gray, senior, said. “Without a doubt she keeps everything and all of us in order.” Collier stays busy not only with the Amplifier, but runs on the Varsity Cross Country Team along with taking four rigorous advanced placement classes that include AP English, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry and AP French. Collier has managed to stay highly successful with such a stressful workload by simply re-adjusting her mindset towards the classes. “It’s one thing when you’re taking a bunch of hard classes in which you are not vested and have no interest,” Collier said. “It’s another when you actually feel privileged to study topics that intrigue and inspire you.” Collier’s one piece of advice is to “actually select classes that inspire even a little bit of your interest.” With Collier’s strong academic success, she has been able to set herself up in a position to attend a highly elite university. She has set her goals high in hopes of studying microbiology. Collier isn’t just envisioning her college life, but her life after college and her career. “I want to be really interested in my work, whichever specific endeavor I chose. I want to be in a place where I’m working hard and I’m feeling good about my hard work,” she said. “I want to have the mindset I do right now, which is that hard work doesn’t dissipate into despair and it eventually pays off.” Collier doesn’t want to just have a “ho-hum, work 35 years then retire” kind of life. For her, life is more important than just sticking to daily norms. She wants to make a difference. “Life is a journey and I don’t want to sit around and do nothing,” Collier said. I want to break barriers. I want to have an impact.”  
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Lions Helping Lions: West Linn aids lions in Africa