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Taking Flight: Bird’s Eye View

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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The proof is in the numbers: 290, 650, another 650, and even 1,000. It’s all additional money raised for Crater High School’s sparrow.

Seniors touched by Addi Irey showed off their senior projects during the school’s night of internship and senior project presentations. But one student spent her year getting a different view of Southern Oregon Sparrow Clubs.

Kayla Melbo is the first official student intern for sparrow in southern Oregon, “I learned a lot about it and from Matt and what he does behind the scenes.”

“My goal was to show her the big picture of sparrow clubs, pull back the big curtain,” says Regional Director Matt Sampson. With the curtain pulled back, working hand-in-hand, Matt and Kayla saw more than the big adoption assemblies she had seen as a student.

“She had seen it from the student’s perspective for all these years,” he goes on to explain. “She didn’t see the messiness of it, meeting with the families, hearing the heartbreaking stories, going to the hospitals, going to business sponsors and asking them for help.”

“I met with a bunch of the sparrows, when they were at the hospitals or in their homes if they couldn’t go out,” Kayla says.

It’s the hard part of the job.

“There’s a lot of sensitivity required for this job and I think Kayla got a glimpse of that.”

A glimpse with a lesson that will help the graduating senior pursuing a career in pediatric nursing or social work.

“A lot of how to interact with the families, how we can talk to them and make sure you’re saying the right things to them when they’re telling their stories, also talking to businesses,” the sparrow intern explains.

But even more important than those skills, Kayla says what she wants to do, working with kids, takes even more, “I think it takes, honestly a heart… you have to have a heart to do it.”

Heart, Sampson says Kayla has, ”She shed quite a few tears and she was touched at a heart level, and it was difficult for her at times; she has the heart for it and she has the compassion for it, and she gave her heart for these kids.”

The difficult times Kayla says, were outweighed by the inspiration. Inspiring work was seen on the same night from her classmates.

“They’re heartbreaking to see and to watch but at the same time, when you go to these assemblies, you think, wow these kids are going to do something inspiring.”

Now, with a bird’s eye view, understanding how a dance, softball clinic and a car wash fit into the big picture.