To the Editor:
With my son’s final year at Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School behind us, I am writing to publicly thank Mike Meyer for all he did to enrich WFRMS. In addition to being an empathetic guidance counselor who helped guide my son to academic accomplishments, his leadership of the Social Organization and Service (SOS) Club created unique opportunities for learning and service for hundreds of Wake Forest kids. His contributions to WFRMS will be sorely missed as he moves on to new opportunities.
Over the years, the SOS Club organized seven dance marathons, which have earned tens of thousands of dollars for Duke Children’s Miracle Network and North Carolina Children’s Hospital. The last event was the spectacular partnering with PNC Arena to create a regional youth service event for middle school students of the Triangle. Through SOS, members learned business skills such as advertising, event planning, marketing and budget management. Many student leaders, including my son, presented at state and national conferences, including American Middle Level Educators Conferences held in Baltimore, Louisville and Portland. The mission of SOS, “For the Kids” was carried throughout our country “By the Kids.”
In addition to the laudable goal of raising thousands of dollars for Duke Children’s Miracle Network and North Carolina Children’s Hospital, SOS also enriched the middle school experience of the club members through social and cultural experiences that would be otherwise unavailable to many students. I speak for many in thanking you for organizing fun after school and weekend trips to the theater, zip-lining and Spookywoods.
You will surely be remembered for the marathon trips you organized. Your itineraries were ambitious to say the least. I found chaperoning for the Pennsylvania trip to be exhausting. You assigned me to chaperone a group of under resourced girls. Meetings at Penn State, snow tubing, touring caverns and more. Yet, it all made sense as the kids in my group rambled across a college campus for the first time, and met a college president. We can only imagine the ripple effect upon these kids, who ate in the cafeteria with college students, and explored the library and classrooms. One girl enthusiastically shared that she could now imagine herself at “sleep away college!” On that trip I saw that SOS not only taught privileged kids about service — it gently expanded the horizons of underprivileged kids. More than one parent has shared that they chose WFRMS because SOS club would provide these unique opportunities and experiences for their children.
Your dedication and enthusiasm were contagious. I saw you give tirelessly of your time, over school breaks, on weekends and late into the evenings, to facilitate the myriad projects that you tackled. You never said “no” to a worthy cause; rather, you matched people who were looking for an opportunity to serve with a new mission.
Most importantly, you taught the kids that despite their youth that they, too, could spearhead an important cause. No need to sit back and wait for “someone else” to help — they could do it. You showed them that they did not have to have all the answers or all the resources — they simply had to ask the right people for help and guidance.
The pages of The Wake Weekly have been filled with stories of the myriad accomplishments of SOS. It is my sincere desire that your leadership inspires your students to continue to seek opportunities to serve in Wake Forest and beyond.