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!

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