ONTARIO — Hundreds of local students crowded John J. Easly Gymnasium on the campus of Treasure Valley Community College for the sixth annual Emerging Leaders Summit on Wednesday.

A special opportunity during the event was a community service project put on by JustServe. The local chapter of the volunteerism group had students put together hygiene kits for New Hope Day Shelter and comfort kits for Project DOVE.

The latter is a nonprofit serving victims of domestic violence, and the day shelter will be opening on Wednesday on Northwest Second Street in Ontario.

On top of every kit was a handwritten note of encouragement from the students.

JustServe’s Evelyn Dame said the idea for the project came up when Project DOVE posted about the need for comfort kits to JustServe.

Knowing the Emerging Leaders Summit was coming up, Dame said it was a good opportunity to let students get involved.

“We can solicit the eight hundred-plus youth at the event and get it together pretty easily,” Dame said.

Dame said she talked to Project DOVE board chairwoman Debbie Blackaby, who said having a kit with many essentials is a big help for some of the people who come to the organization.

“Some people come to Project DOVE with nothing,” Dame said.

On top of helping Project DOVE, different kits, which have basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo and a razor, were made to give to New Hope Day Shelter to help homeless people clean up.

“It’s a very good opportunity for homeless people,” Dame said.

With drop boxes at Project DOVE and Fruitland Elementary School, Dame said about half of the total items they needed were donated.

This year, the Emerging Leaders Summit featured E.J. Carrion as a special guest and speaker. Carrion is the co-founder and CEO of the Student Success Agency, which is an online mentoring platform that connects teenagers to college advising through their cell phones.

Carrion was recognized by Forbes magazine as a top 30 entrepreneur under the age of 30 in 2018.

Nik Streng is the sports reporter for the Argus Observer. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2015 with a master's degree in journalism, after graduating from Pacific University in 2013 with a degree in creative writing.

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