September 19, 2020

A look into some of the charities class humanitarian Jack Steen volunteers for

Caroline Harding '20, Business Manager

“I love being outdoors, and where we live doesn’t allow me to get much of a traditional farm experience, so this is a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the industry that dominates our economy,” said Steen. Photo by Jack Steen.

Jack Steen waltzes through life. Whether it’s volunteering for animal sanctuaries, managing the cross country team, or being a math teaching assistant, Jack Steen pursues his passions with no reservations. 

Steen loves finding volunteer opportunities that combine his interests and giving back. For Unity Farm Sanctuary, it is his interest in farming. Because he is a die hard sports fan, he participates in the TOPS program. He loves Key Club because it gives him a chance to give back to his community. The mentorship club highlights his interest in education. He is able to pursue his passion for politics when registering citizens to vote. 

Unity Farm Sanctuary gives Steen the opportunity to spend time outdoors with animals and give back to a nonprofit. Whether it’s Amelia, the pig on witness protection, or Gracie, the horse allergic to hay, or even George, the pig with a rambunctious personality, these outcast farm animals are right out of a sitcom. At Unity Farm Sanctuary, these animals live life to its fullest potential, despite qualities that might hinder their ability to succeed at a traditional farm.

“I love being outdoors, and where we live doesn’t allow me to get much of a traditional farm experience, so this is a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the industry that dominates our economy,” said Steen. 

Steen encourages his friends to come along on his volunteer journeys. Jackson O’Toole ’20 tagged along with Steen one Sunday during his usual shift at the farm. 

“The farm is a great time because of its simplicity and relaxed nature. Seeing Jack on the farm, he was so happy and interactive with the animals, it was super rewarding.” said O’Toole. 

Steen has participated in the Wellesley TOPS program for four years. This is a weekly event where children in the community with developmental or intellectual disabilities play on a soccer team with  students from the high school. 

“I’ve worked with my buddy Teddy for the past two years. I’ve met so many great people working in this program, and I’ve encouraged my friends to join. It is truly a highlight that I look forward to every week,” said Steen.

“Jack is always at TOPS with a huge smile on his face. What makes Jack such a leader within his volunteer work is that he genuinely loves what he is doing, and that love is infectious.” said Izzy Perozek ’20.

Mr. Fisher also appreciates Steen’s work as a teaching assistant in the math department.

“Jack is a huge asset to my class.  He is able to easily explain concepts to the class as a whole or individuals without being condescending.  The students look up to him and feel comfortable asking him for help. He is a wonderful addition to their learning experience.” said Fisher.“The days were long, and we got a lot of “no”s. However, we would always get a few “yes”s that would make the day worth it,” said Steen.

Steen is also the president of WHS Key Club. Last summer he traveled to Houston to build houses that had been destroyed from the natural disasters. 

“Jack Steen was the happiest person at any given moment during those 8 sweltering days. He was always eager to volunteer and listen to the stories of all of the wonderful people we met. He made a constant effort to be thoughtful in everything he did and brought lots of joy to everyone on the trip (but no surprise there),” said Jacque Mack ’20.

Steen’s ability to waltz through life with an emphasis on helping others and a love of politics, education, and sports is what lead him to be voted class humanitarian.

“Keep dancing, Jack. We are excited to see all that you do.” said Perozek.

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