THS student setting up shop for her peers in need

Published 10:43 am Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thompson High School student Leah Warman prepares to paint and organize a former utility closet at the school to house the "Tomahawk Shop" on Aug. 26. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Thompson High School student Leah Warman prepares to paint and organize a former utility closet at the school to house the “Tomahawk Shop” on Aug. 26. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – With her father, Drew, as an assistant principal at Thompson High School, THS student Leah Warman has a profound understanding of the struggles some of her classmates face every day.

“With my father as an assistant principal, that gives me an inside look at things,” Warman said. “It makes you feel sad that there are some kids whose families can’t afford to go back-to-school shopping for clothes and school supplies.

“I don’t think it’s just a need here, I think it’s a need everywhere,” Warman said.

Warman, a member of the Alabaster-based Girl Scout Troop 993, has been working for the past several weeks to organize and set up the “Tomahawk Shop” in what once was a utility closet next to the school’s attendance and counselors’ office.

Through the shop, which Warman is organizing as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she has set up relationships with the Helena and Alabaster United Methodist Churches, which are planning to conduct clothing drives to help supply the shop.

“It took a lot of emailing and meeting with some of the church staff members to get everything set up,” Warman said.

Warman is also working with school leaders to organize school supply drives to be used in the Tomahawk Shop.

“I still have to get with the SGA and THS TV to help get the word out here at the school,” Warman said. “I want to get with them to make sure the supply drives keep going even after I graduate.”

Once the shop is set up, students in need will be able to visit one of the school’s counselors, who will allow the students to access the Tomahawk Shop to obtain essentials such as pens and pencils, paper and clothing. Once a student visits the Tomahawk Shop, the counselor will update the shop’s inventory listing.

Students who need to visit the shop will be able to do so discreetly.

“The embarrassment factor is not included,” Warman said.

Drew Warman said school interest has been high in supporting the shop.

“I’m real proud of Leah,” he said. “This is another way to let all of our students shine.”

Since she has been working primarily to set up clothing and supply drives so far, Warman said she is now turning her attention to organizing and renovating the former utility closet to house the shop, which likely will open to students by November, she said.

“Knowing you are having an impact on other students’ lives most certainly builds self-confidence in yourself,” Warman said. “I hope to see everyone take advantage of it.”