BV senior helps library soar on social media
By Kelby Newcomb
Members of the Junior Chamber Board take an active role in the Berryville community.
Steve Johnson, executive director of the Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce, said one of the best examples of the Junior Chamber’s work ethic and volunteer spirit has been Berryville senior Reeya Gandhi.
Johnson said Gandhi has been finding time between her school work to volunteer once a week at the Berryville Library and keep its social media updated.
“I come in almost every Tuesday when I can after school,” Gandhi said, “to update their Facebook page and go through their pictures they take of all their activities.”
She said she works closely with library director Julie Hall to come up with statements for the social media posts.
“We kind of work together on what we could say when I make the posts,” Gandhi said. “I look through all the pictures and add comments and times.”
She said she also shares events from the library’s activities calendar at the beginning of each month.
“I post all of the activities they’re having for the rest of the month,” Gandhi said, “and I make it so whoever has like the library’s page can see all the activities they have coming up.”
She said she drew from her own experience using social media and wanted to give back to the library.
“This is the first time I’ve doing this, so it was mostly from my personal experience,” Gandhi said. “I really liked it. I’ve gone to this library ever since I was little. I’ve always known that they have so many activities, and they have a lot more activities now.”
She said she believes it is important for people around town to support the library because it does so much to promote learning and literature.
“I’m a big book nerd, so I support the idea of letting kids know about classic literature and any type of book,” she said.
Through helping with the library’s social media, Gandhi said she has learned how much the staff cares about spreading a love of reading.
“I helped Julie out previously at the Christmas Parade handing out books to little children,” she said. “They really care about spreading the joy of reading, especially to youth.”
Gandhi said the library is also a great resource for parents because kids can have a good time taking part in programs while the parents work on the computers or get a moment to rest.
She said it felt good to give back to the library because she learned to read there when she was a child.
“I used to go there all the time when I was little,” she said. “I would take books off the shelf and read them.”
Gandhi said she is thankful to have had the opportunity to help out the community as a Junior Chamber member.
“When I applied to be on the Junior Chamber Board, I didn’t really know what it was about,” she said. “When it came to the first meeting, they listed off all these community organizations and community activities that we could be involved in.”
While she is involved in a lot of clubs at school, Gandhi said most of them don’t do community outreach.
“To have an organization like the Junior Chamber Board be solely based on helping out the community,” she said, “is what I was really looking for.”
Gandhi said she is thankful for the experiences she had as part of the Junior Chamber.
“I wouldn’t have experienced it any other way,” she said, “and I wouldn’t have gotten to know this community better if I wasn’t on the Junior Chamber Board.”
Johnson said Gandhi’s volunteer spirit and leadership led to her being awarded the Youth Ambassador Award at the annual Chamber Banquet this past October.
“Reeya is an exceptional individual who gives freely of her time,” he said, “to help give back to her community. I am impressed with her volunteering efforts, which make such a positive impact in Berryville. She is representative of the great students who are members of the Junior Chamber Board at Berryville High School.”
After graduation, Gandhi said she will be attending the University of Arkansas and plans to study journalism.
“Doing social media was kind of like journalism in a small way,” she said. “I thought it was a good way to kickstart that and gain some information on how to do journalism. I’m hoping to go into a writing career.”
Gandhi said she encourages other Berryville students to join the Junior Chamber Board.
“There are a lot of seniors leaving this year, and the rest of the members next year are going to all be seniors,” she said. “They definitely need people.”
Gandhi concluded, “It’s a good opportunity to meet new people around the community, get great feedback on the job that you’re doing, step out of your comfort zone and talk to people outside of your school.”