In serving others as Glenbrook North Student Association Executive Board president, Charlie Weissman served himself.
"With my senior year especially I'd say that this is a year of growth for me and helped me kind of find my identity more so," he said.
"I became much more confident in my abilities to lead small groups and large groups and work with lots of different kinds of people. I became much more comfortable with putting myself out there and I like the way I portrayed myself. I was making a positive change and I was just more confident in my abilities, I guess, as a whole," he said.
Encouraged by his older sister, Alexa, to get involved in student government in high school, with twin sister Margo also serving on the board, Charlie realized a long-held goal of becoming its president.
"I knew I wanted it since basically the beginning of freshman year," he said.
At that point he was captivated by homecoming flash -- the floats, the decorations, the big game, the dance.
"All the things like that were a big deal at the time," said the Michigan-bound Weissman, whose final prep tennis season was shelved due to the coronavirus.
But in a year he called "pivotal," as senior president he took the most pride in helping organize the school food drive that culminated in Glenbrook North's annual "Pack the Truck" day on Feb. 29 -- also the date of the school's Turnabout Dance, which likewise drew some donations.
The board sought to increase student participation by arranging in-school food collections as a competition between classes with teachers encouraging students to contribute. Once the truck was packed it delivered its record-breaking contents to the Northfield Township Food Pantry in Glenview and The ARK, with locations in Northbrook and Chicago.
It helped Weissman earn the title of Glenbrook North's "Outstanding Boy."
Being a teenage boy perhaps it was natural that another big event involved food. Starting planning in February concurrently with the food drive, Weissman and the board pulled off Foodapalooza. It featured a food truck, one of those irresistible inflatables and a block party in the gym with games, a bake sale and volleyball tournament.
"I could not be happier with how it all went down," said Weissman, to be succeeded as president by Peter Bazianos.
Challenged by COVID-19, Weissman and the board orchestrated the school's first virtual Pride Assembly, streamed online through the GBN-TV website on April 22. Like board Vice President Ellie Pazol said at the end of the video, no one expected the 2019-20 school year to go like it did, but she wouldn't have traded it for the world.
"I'm going to visit next year probably if that's allowed, but it's just kind of weird for me to know that I'm not going to be back as a student," he said. "It just gave me a full appreciation for how much I love my school and how special of a place I think it is. That's almost a consensus with basically everyone that's at home now, is to kind of realize how great GBN really is."