1, 2, 3, action!

With some schools anticipating the last day of class, and others already soaking in summer break, we here at New Global Citizens are wrapping up! The 2010-2011 school year is coming to an end and that means it’s time to share all the hard work we’ve done! Through immense generosity we’ve raised funds and awareness, and it’s time to unveil it. Lets take a glimpse at the end of the year tasks the terrific teams are achieving:

Perry High School from Gilbert, AZ is successfully remodeling their organization, enabling it to wholly be dedicated to New Global Citizens next year. For the last 3 years the club has been named FACES – For A Cause Educating Students. Here they focused on 4 well-known organizations such as Invisible Children to raise money and awareness. Overtime the club recognized a lack of focus and support, leading them to become a New Global Citizens team. Though starting late in the year they have already formed a solid foundation. With this transformation they will focus on one NGC project next year with a group of team leaders. This new direction will help formulate a group of students with the ability to make a difference. Go Pumas!

That’s a wrap for Red Mountain High from Mesa, AZ. With newly elected team leaders, Red Mountain is set for success next year. With co-presidents, a vice-president and a secretary, the students are excited to plan for the 2011-2012 school year. All sophomores, they are ready to dedicate themselves to New Global Citizens and grow as individuals. After a number of small fundraisers and their big annual benefit concert, Red Mountain surely kicked butt this year!

Waukegan never, ever fails to impress me! After speaking with their Downtown communicating and gaining much appreciated support, Waukegan has succeeded in advocating, educating and fundraising. Through their many movie nights and popcorn sales, the team has gained sufficient funds and awareness, all while creating a sense of community in the student body. Fun and simple, this event works every time! Recently Waukegan attended a nearby elementary school carnival to raise awareness and gain support. Meanwhile the team is currently working on recruitment for the 2011-2012 school year. They are giving presentations in front of numerous classes to gain new members, and plan on meeting over the summer to get a head start on next year’s goals. They will also be working with an organization named “Community Connection Center” to hopefully gain support from local politicians. Dare to dream big, Waukegan! 🙂

Heading over to Westminster, the team is wrapping up things with less than 20 days left of school! They raised…drumroll please…$827, which was over twice the amount of their initial face goal! They also educated over 600 people about the Nirvanavan foundation and its goals. They’re completing all of their end-of-the-year tasks and as their team mentor, have really made me proud!

Basha High School stepped up their game and completed their biggest and last fundraiser named, “Chose the Children Challenge,” an effort to raise money and awareness for the House of Hope orphanage in Uganda – one person at a time. For over 2 weeks the team went around the school with cameras and took pictures of students with a sign saying __________ (I Chose Children, or I take the challenge). They then signed a petition. Alternatives included not eating lunch and covering their books with black – symbolic of the kids throughout the world who have no access to education, or submitting a fact they find related to Aids related deaths in children. A wall was dedicated to this project with the pictures centered around a central poster with the NGC message. All in all, the “challenge” was a success, and I am blown away by the creativity. If given the opportunity I’d love to do something similar myself in the future. Now the team is wrapping up by having a party with a slideshow and simply, “chillin'” out and electing next years leaders!

Piedmont High School has been incredible all year by really taking charge and taking care of themselves. Through their female power they chose the House of Hope and celebrated their ability to raise awareness. They’ve gotten the ball rolling, and being the first NGC team in North Carolina, I’m excited to see what great heights they take the organization to next year!

Over to Texas, Cypress Falls High School is working hard as ever! Through their own investigations, team leader Christina and her team found that candy sells; therefore, they’ve had a number of candy sales. Along with selling the candy, each student is given a slip of paper with information regarding their project on it. BAM. Funds and awareness in one. Brilliant! Cypress is always wrapping up the year with celebration and prepping for next year with flowing ideas and seeing who will step up to the plate as team leader. 🙂

Bioscience is finding some closure in the 2010-2011 school year and getting ready to go bigger and better for the 2011-2012 school year. Though this year hit a rough patch with a lack of community and school support, they are optimistic about their future endeavors. No matter how much or how little was raised, here at New Global Citizens, EVERYTHING and ANYTHING helps make the world a better a place, and Bioscience played their part.

The Papa Bears in Chicago have been juggling their 3 projects, and juggling them WELL to say the least! With a book drive in progress, the Papa Bears aren’t quite finished with the year. They are soaking in all the time they have to gain as much support as possible while raising remarkable funds and awareness. Through their many small and simple fundraisers, the team has been unbelievably successful, and it’s been an honor working with them! 🙂

Last, but certainly not least, Calabasas High School has really performed beyond my expectations. Though this team has been primarily independent, accomplishing and responsible on their own, it’s been great giving them extra support. Through selling bracelets and water bottles, and simply asking for donations, they have been successful. According to the school, by donating, one is pledging to support the efforts of access to clean water for all. Choosing the Well Repair Project the team has reached out to their principal, mayor and congressman. They have gained ample support and the Community Educating screened a documentary about the importance of clean water while also having a guest speaker. Calabasas truly thought outside of the box and made this year an exciting one for NGC!

As a young adult trying to make a difference in my community, I am inspired by the motives and actions I’ve seen take place this year. It’s been an honor, and I will continue to grow as an individual with NGC apart of me. Lets finish this year with a BAM!

And, that’s a wrap!

End of Year Wrap Up

As the school year comes to screeching halt, teams are scrambling to host last minute fundraising events and are beginning to brave their school’s finance system in order to submit their funds. It is easy for teams to get caught up in the idea that their success is dependant upon how much money they raise. Therefore I’d like to take this time to remind myself as well as others of the importance of the other aspects of the NGC process. Many people take for granted the power of conversation. NGC provides students with the tools to have open conversations with their communities in order to educate and advocate on behalf of amazing global projects that so many are unaware of. The world is constantly changing and it’s imperative that the youth continue to have a voice and a presence.  Frequently students feel that they have no impact on a global scale and withdraw instead of standing up for their beliefs. All of my NGC teams have such passion for and dedication to their projects and it inspires me every day. Being able to see a student’s face light up out of excitement for their project as they share it with their team has been the greatest part of being a team mentor. The fact that students have real opinions and are acting on them is impactful enough. I hope those that are graduating can continue it through the next chapter of their lives because their energy is unbelievable contagious and it’s such a beautiful thing to waste.

Ok enough of my philosophical ramblings on to the teams!

University High School is continuing their book exchange they’ve been working on. Essentially the team members are swapping books with their friends and fellow NGC team members on the subject of religion and religious conflict. They are using their NGC club meetings to discuss their findings and express their opinions. They are also planning a yard sale in early May which is causing some stress as fund submission dates approach. Nina is a very reliable leader so I’m sure she will take care of things. Speaking of Nina, I want to congratulate her for being accepted to Stanford with scholarship, I foresee great things from her in the near future! Also congrats to Katherine another NGC leader for being a Flinn Scholar recipient, and also to the final leader of the team Beatrice for being accepted into Smith. Very smart ladies!

PV NGC has sold half of their sports equipment to Play It Again Sports, raising around $150. They are planning on selling the remainder of it to another Play It Again Sports location very soon. They are going to be discussing plans for next year throughout this summer and hoping to grow in size as well as improve meeting times and frequency of events. I’m very impressed with the way this team has progressed considering their unconventional structure. NGC hasn’t really targeted elementary/middle school aged team members in the past and it’s been interesting to see how it has worked out. With the help of their supervisor Dan Mason, they were able to put on a couple pretty successful fundraising events as well as learn how to write advocacy letters to their school principals. Hopefully they will stick it out and renew for next year J

Raymond S. Kellis was one of the most innovative teams throughout the fundraising process. They are finishing up their ‘cup around the neck’ fundraiser in which they had students and teachers wear cups around their necks to collect donations. Other fundraisers this year included ‘Send Your Love to Africa’ in which people bought hearts to post on a ‘heart attack’ wall, a hot chocolate sale, and a few restaurant benefit nights. This team was blessed with a very helpful supervisor who pushed the team to have a real presence on campus. Trevor was a very strong leader and really made sure that the team stayed on task and focused on the project. Hopefully he will continue to lead the team to success next year.

I can’t say enough about the Tolleson High NGC team this year. For being a new team, they really hit the ground running! The size of the team in itself is impressive. They have hosted so many events this year such as a poetry café, a documentary night, a bookmark sale, a carnival booth, etc. They were able to reach out to a congresswoman and educate their town on their project at a fair. Steffany has been such a pleasure to work with, she is one of those students that just lights up over the projects and is incredibly driven to make an impact in this world. Also congrats to her being accepted into Georgetown University!

Shaker High School has been an interesting team to mentor considering they are on the other side of the country! They have done a wonderful job of keeping me in the loop as far as their events go. Their talent show was a huge success raising around $1000. They are currently in the process of planning a documentary night scheduled for early this month, which I’ve been told I will be receiving a facebook invite to soon. They were also planning on selling fair trade chocolate at some point this year but I never really heard back from them as to whether that happened or not. The transition into new leadership sort of threw this team off but I’m very impressed with their continued participation and success!

Seton Catholic Prep started a team fairly late in the game but have been incredibly active ever since! They didn’t feel comfortable fundraising considering the time constraint and so instead chose to advocate and educate on behalf of the issues of poverty and education. They hosted a day of global awareness and have teamed up with other organizations on their campus to raise money for various causes. They are planning on becoming more active in NGC next year when they have more time to plan things.

Unfortunately my other two teams, Paradise Valley High and Palmyra sort of dropped of in communication. Paradise Valley experienced some difficulties establishing strong leadership and the Palmyra team was very difficult to get into contact with. I’m hoping they will try to pull things together as the end of the year draws near, or gear up for next year.

Thanks to all the teams for the hard work and dedication!