Carlsbad’s Pacific Ridge School.

At Carlsbad’s Pacific Ridge School, ethical responsibility is a daily aspect of the student experience. The school has a comprehensive service learning program and many students become ardent supporters of various causes, developing creative ways to address communities in need.

Two recent examples of “service in action” at the school are senior Kyle Ramsay and sophomore Katie Meitchik.

Ramsay, who writes and produces electronic music, started a project in his sophomore year to help Alzheimer’s patients. Understanding that music memory remains retrievable by many dementia sufferers, Ramsay is developing personalized music playlists for residents at a local senior center to help them experience pleasant emotions and potentially retrieve happy memories. After interviewing caregivers and family members, Kyle presents each resident with an audio player preloaded with a custom playlist.

“Listening to favorite music is a pleasure for anyone and hopefully this can improve their quality of life,” Kyle tells Giving Back Magazine of his project.

Meitchik has applied her service-minded projects both locally and globally. A volunteer for the non-profit Kids for Peace, Meitchik was inspired by a discussion about the Syrian crisis in her history class. She knew that Kids For Peace was hosting an artist from Syria, so she contacted the organization to see what she could do. The artist, Massa Abujeib, uses art therapy to help children in Syria cope with war suffering and trauma. Meitchik invited Abujeib to host an art show fundraiser at Pacific Ridge, and the two went into action. The November show, which featured paintings by Abujeib, raised almost $3,000 for art supplies. Abujeib has since returned to Syria and Meitcheik is pursuing more opportunities to support her work with Syrian refugee children.

“Massa is such a special person,” said Katie. “Being able to support her made me feel as though I am contributing something important.”