By Terry Butler
When Nathan Amaro served on the panel as one of six students during the Junction City Main Street 2022 Community Forum on Diversity and Equality, he was asked what he could do to make a difference in Junction City. His idea was to “gather a big group of people to do something for kids and let their parents know that people care about their children.”
On January 24, 2023, his vision became a reality. Thanks to R2B4 Bramlage Foundation, who generously provided each of the six student panelists $1,000 to pursue their ideas, his project came to fruition. Nathan selected the children of Washington Elementary to mentor. He worked with Betty Waters, Head Secretary, and Stuart Schwarz, PE Teacher, to order $1,000 worth of PE equipment to be used for both educational and recreational purposes. When the project was completed, the equipment would remain at the school. His vision was to create a “field day” that would lead to progressive events for years to come.
Nathan Amaro invited Skylar Fisher, Lauren Heller, Michael Bogonowski, Christian Waters, Armani Coleman, Kylee Powell, Andre Dickey, Lyla Hayden and Xander Caldwell to join him in his endeavor. For nearly 2 hours, these 10 students interacted with kindergarten through 5th graders over their lunch hour playing with the equipment purchased through Nathan’s project. There were parachutes, popular board games, Circle Shoot, Multi-Ring Stand, Nok Hockey, Double Shoot Out and more.
The laughter from the gymnasium filled the hallways from elementary to high school students and beyond. And to top it off, it was Nathan’s birthday. So, Washington Elementary surprised Nathan with lunch and cupcakes to celebrate a day to remember for everyone.