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Creston High School Students Step Up

National Honor Society Volunteers Learn Life Lessons Managing Blood Drives

David Lyons has a special place in his heart for Creston High School. A 1987 graduate, he came back to teach honors English in 1993, and in 1999, he took over as the Advisor for the student run National Honor Society. Under his watch, David has taught, mentored, and left a lasting mark on more than 1200 students.  And while David is happy to talk AP English with you, one of his most favorite topics is the honor students who run coordinate Creston’s blood drives.  Many of the students are enrolled in the Grand Rapids Area Pre College Engineering Program (GRAPCEP) program at Creston in partnership with Davenport University. This is a school of choice program which is open to all students who fulfill the academic standards and behavioral expectations of the program. Course work has an engineering and biomedical focus, and students participate in internships throughout the greater Grand Rapids area. 

Whether David’s students line up to coordinate and support the biannual blood drives because of his influence or their interest in bioscience is a matter for friendly debate.  However,  there is no mistaking the vital role these students play in securing a safe, adequate and diverse blood supply for all the hospitals in the Grand Rapids area. In fact, he often tells them the story of his mom, who in 2007, had to have triple bypass surgery and needed blood. He is convinced one of his students helped save her life. David says, “There is not better gift than to give to people you’ll never meet. Through this selfless gift of donating blood, you’re giving the gift of life.” David also is passionate about “how important it is to teach young people about giving back to their community, and in giving blood, you can help others without having to open a wallet.”

National Volunteer Week runs April 21-27, 2013, and Michigan Blood is grateful for teachers like David and his National Honor Society students who voluntarily step up to help their neighbors. Creston High School will be closing in June and becoming the new home for City High/Middle School. Creston students will be redistricted, and David is unclear as to where his next teaching assignment will take him. One thing is certain though, the life lessons he has taught his students will be carried with them, wherever their lives take them. And as Bill Rietscha, CEO of Michigan Blood, explains: “Not only are these students playing a vital role today – they are setting the stage for making a lifesaving impact for years to come.  As our donor base ages and more ‘baby boomers’ become ineligible to donate, it is essential that we continue to introduce students to the donation process while in high school and encourage them to continue upon graduation.”

From left: Mallory Robinson, Kaleyiah Hudson-Anderson, Shalah Robinson, David Lyons, Leya Woods, Chrisan Stewart, Ana Arvizu-Mata, Jasmine Jones.  Back row from left: Caleb Howard, Kaleab Mamo.