It took some serious planning, coordination and dialogue between Copperas Cove High School and the local Noon Exchange Club, but it’s finally here. The first teen Excel Club met Thursday to introduce students to the mission and purpose of the club.

“It’s is all about getting youth involved in the community,” said Dennis Ayres, club president. “But we first had to have all the right club members, facility and advisers in place to ensure its success.”

The Excel Club will be part of the Copperas Cove Noon Exchange Club and part of the larger exchange club network.

“The students’ mission is to do what we do at the high school level,” said Mike Blount, the club’s immediate past president. “They will select the projects that are important to them based on the needs of the school and local community. They get to decide where they go and what they do.”

With nearly 700 clubs and 21,000 members nationwide, the club celebrated its 100th year in 2011, and it’s even more committed to delivering community-centered services.

“As a club student-adviser, I’m so excited to be the voice of the students and help them connect to the larger club,” said Kellie Dalrymple. “I’ve only been a member for a year, but already I’m so involved and take immense pride in it.”

The Noon Exchange Club will pay the student dues and mentor students like Mikayla Miller, 16, who was excited to sign up.

“It’s a great opportunity to do more good for the community,” she said. “I want to be positive and make a different in the things I do. This is a chance to get out of my comfort zone and do things.”

“Kids say there’s nothing to do around here,” said Alex Wilson, 15, “but it depends on what you want to do, and I really want to do this. I think the Excel Club is a great way to do new stuff.”

The next scheduled Excel Club meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the high school’s cafeteria.

Corinne Lincoln-Pinheiro | Herald

A journalist by trade, Corinne has written for both the military and civilian populations. She has a Master's in Writing and Bachelor's in English. She is also a military spouse and her family is currently stationed at Fort Hood.

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