A Havelock High School student has a prominent role as a district officer in the N.C. Association of Student Councils.

A Havelock High School student has a prominent role as a district officer in the N.C. Association of Student Councils.

Gabby Ybarra, a junior at Havelock High, will serve as first vice president of the organization during the 2015-16 school year. She received the position during the group’s state convention in Fayetteville.

“The first vice presidency position is in charge of the projects for the state,” she said.

Ybarra has been serving as the organization’s eastern district chairperson during the current school year.

She said the organization’s big project is to support Victory Junction, a camp for children with diseases.

“They go to this camp free of charge for the families and they can participate in any of the activities because they have the care that they need,” Ybarra said. “Usually they have certain weeks that are dedicated to the certain diseases and they get to meet other kids from around the state and probably the nation that have those same illnesses.”

The camp is in Randleman, which is between Asheboro and Greensboro, and was founded by race car driver Richard Petty and the Petty family.

“It is a full camp experience and they have a full medical facility, so the week that they have kids with cancer, they can continue chemotherapy. It is a remarkable facility,” said teacher John McLeod, Havelock High School’s student council advisor.

Schools of the association have raised about $125,000 over the years for Victory Junction. Last year, school student councils raised and donated $22,000 toward the cause.

“We call it our state project. It’s really a unifying project,” McLeod said. “It’s something that we all work on in our own little way raising money.”

Ybarra has started organizing a committee for Victory Junction and is encouraging Havelock High student council members to begin working on the effort.

“It’s a big deal and I know that I am really looking forward to working with Victory Junction,” Ybarra said.

McLeod said Havelock High shares the responsibility with Ybarra.

“The committee is local because it’s not just her job but it’s our whole school’s job,” she said.

Ybarra has been involved in the state organization since her freshmen year. McLeod said it was Ybarra’s idea to run for the first vice president position.

“It was something she wanted and she deserves the credit,” he said.

Ybarra produced a video to show at the convention and had to give a speech in front of the attendees.

The post puts Ybarra in the position of serving as an ambassador for Havelock High.

“I hope to really engage myself,” she said. “I would like to think that I will be more involved in the state organization and with the people who are involved. I know we’re going to have a great board this year so I’m really looking forward to meeting with those people.”

Ybarra said it’s eye-opening to work with students from other schools, large and small, from across the state.

“It’s amazing the kind of relationships that you can make with those people you don’t even see all the time,” Ybarra said, adding the members text, email and use Instagram and Twitter to stay in touch.

There are four state board meetings and three district meetings through the course of the year and then a retreat at the 4H Center in Columbia.

McLeod said Ybarra was able to gain respect across districts to be elected to her state post.

“I think that speaks a lot for Gabby and it speaks a lot for the school,” he said.

Ybarra has plans to look into leadership, business or entrepreneurialism when she goes to college.