Community service

Students Honored by the Board of Education for Community Service

The Maine Township High School District 207 School Board honored three students at its recent meeting by naming them “207’s Best” in the area of ​​community service. The recognized students were Colette Gordon from Maine South, Rayhan Khaja from Maine East and Kris Modi from Maine West.


The passion to give back to her community started early in Colette’s life and turned into a desire to serve when she started her high school career. At Maine South, she leaned on community service in her extracurricular activities and in her university studies.

Currently, she is President of the Key Club, one of the three leaders of the Medical Careers Club, a member of the NHS, Science NHS and Student Council. She also runs volunteer baking classes from her home, called Colette’s Baking and Pastry school, where young children from her neighborhood come to take baking lessons. Its youngest member is two years old. In Maine South during the pandemic, she designed all the advertising for school dances and Spirit Week. Additionally, she offered the dissection program at the Medical Careers Club where students dissected a pig fetus. She had another idea during COVID where nursing home residents received surprise Valentine’s Day gifts to brighten the day of isolated seniors. This program has continued and is in its third year in Maine South. She also started a program called “Shoeboxes of Joy” where students made packs of cards, books, and toys that were delivered to Lutheran General’s pediatric wing.

At the Key Club, she helped with the Halloween Craft Fair during the Park Ridge Farmers Market by setting up a table where little kids can participate and make pictures and crafts. Additionally, at Key Club, Sheridan Nursing Homes, she hosts a card game and craft nights. As part of this program, high school students interact and play with seniors and many have formed strong friendships.


Rayhan is a true leader within the Maine East school community who has a passion for bringing people together for service. This dedication to service is evident in his contributions during his high school career. Rayhan has a long resume filled with community service activities through his involvement with the National Honor Society, RCode Student Leaders, Principal’s Advisory Council, and Muslim Student Association.


When Rayhan was asked about his motivation to create and lead service opportunities for his peers and community, he shared, “I believe that if someone is truly invested in helping students, then we “We can be one; rather than a group of people going to Maine East. It’s important in school. Working together is what makes the difference.”

Last summer, Rayhan hosted a fundraiser for a car wash to support victims of the gun violence that occurred in Highland Park. He gathered 25 classmates on a summer Saturday to wash cars and helped raise over $700 in donations.

Rayhan has also been involved in community service opportunities including Feed My Starving Children, the WGN toy drive, and several opportunities that have supported youth relationships at his local mosque.

Last year, Rayhan helped organize the Fast-A-Thon in Maine East. This event helped the Maine East community better understand Ramadan and the importance of fasting among Muslim students and staff. This unique event was widely attended by students and staff and celebrated locally as an exceptional opportunity to connect with our Muslim community.


Kris Modi has a service-centered approach to life, as evidenced by one of the many ways he gives back to his local community. Kris volunteers at Park Ridge Community Church where he live streams the Sunday church service for members who cannot be there in person as they are housebound. He discovered the opportunity at school because he is interested in cinema. Asked about volunteering at a church where he’s not a member (and not of the same faith), Kris shared, “It’s really not for me. People who can’t go to the service They depend on me for their worship. They’re a very welcoming church. They never asked me if I was a Christian. It wouldn’t matter. They just need to reach out to people.

Kris began a life of service in college, with a National Junior Honor Society requirement. He pursued a life of service because he loves her. Among the many areas where he volunteers, he picks up trash for Clean Up, Give Back. He hangs ornaments and decorations for the lighting of the Des Plaines Christmas tree. He organized “Maine West Reading Renegades” with the National English Honor Society at the Des Plaines Public Library. He volunteers in Wheeling at a college summer camp on space and robots.

In Maine West, Kris is drum major in the Marching Warriors and plays oboe in the pit orchestra. Additionally, he is on the math team, yearbook staff, SOAR, book club, tennis team, Warrior Weekly (weekly student-produced video), advisory board from the library, the principal’s leadership team, physical education leaders, and the National Honor Society. He has also acted in several plays and is now a student producer. He is an officer in several honor societies, including Tri-M (co-chairman), NEHS (chairman), Key Club (vice-chairman) and Science NHS (vice-chairman). He is also a member of the Spanish NHS and Pi Sigma Pi.