Student Perspective: Tolleson’s Poetry Night for ABAN

This post was put together by the team leaders of Tolleson NGC: Shirley Springer, Ahmad Abujbarah, Melissa Carrillo and Ashley Suarez.   

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For the fifth time since its creation, the Tolleson NGC team held their famous Poetry Night. The event, which lasted from 5 to7 p.m. on December 7th, was highly anticipated not only by NGC team members but also by anxious students on campus.

At 5 o’clock the New Global Citizens banner proudly greeted the Poetry Night guests and performers. Like every year, the entrance fee was $1, and all proceeds went towards the club’s project, A Ban Against Neglect (ABAN), which helps young mothers in Ghana obtain an education, maternal health, housing for two years, and job skills – all while solving an environmental epidemic. Behind the table for admission were the concessions and merchandise tables, both displaying new items being sold this year, such as bows and pencil pouches made from old shirts and sweaters. In addition, Poetry Night’s famous tea and cream puffs were being sold as well as cupcakes and cake pops.

Once everyone was situated in the overfilling room, the performances finally began. A brief introduction explaining the history of Poetry Night as well as its inception was given before the microphone was handed to the first performer.

Like every year, many students performed musical pieces and recited poetry. This year in particular featured a student, Dawn Shaw, who recited an original piece written specifically for NGC regarding the empowerment of women and ABAN, which reads as follows:

Carrying the weight like Atlas

With poise

Tackling the obstacles and struggles

With a warm heart can soothe a broken one

And still yell at the world if given the chance

Some don’t even wait they yell

To make everyone hear

Their touch can hold a newborn with ease

Their smile can tell you a story and

Their eyes can show you a million emotions

With those eyes they can

Shake you to the bone

Make you cry with them

Or laugh at life for life

A woman is all this put into one

She is not weak or worthless

Nor powerless

Woman is one word which has

A hundred meanings

Before intermission, a brief educational piece was presented to the guests about ABAN and NGC, which explained the purpose of each and their impacts. Afterwards, the remaining performances and recitals were presented. The wonderful evening came to a close with a few words from the team leaders thanking everyone who came out as well as those who participated, encouraged others to join the group, and reminded everyone of their impact in helping the young Ghanaian mothers.

Tolleson NGC raised over $300 from this Poetry Night alone, making it the most attended and most successful Poetry Night the team has seen. We will be holding another Poetry Night next semester in hopes of raising even more funds for the project as well as educating more people about the issues.

3 Events to Bring Attention to Team

One of the troubles many teams face is being able to successfully spread the word out about the NGC Team and its cause.
Here are 3 easy and simple ways to do so that will also bring in funds while educating the school community –
1. Host a “Half the Sky” doc night. The shortened documentary is found in the teams starters kit. The documentary (and book) focuses on gender equality but also on universal education and many other global issues, so the team may tailor the night to fit around the scope of the team’s specific project
  • Watch the short film with the team first! Then…
  • Request permission from school administration to use the school’s auditorium for doc night on whichever date works best with the team
  • Once approved, distribute fliers of event across campus and within community; submit an announcement to be announced; submit a request for an ad with the school’s publication or with the school’s broadcasting staff, if school has either of those
  • With team, decide if there will be an admission price. I recommend a $1 admission price.
  • Create a Powerpoint Slide or short movie clip to show as “previews” before the film with slides with basic NGC facts, Global Issues facts, Quizzes like at the movies
  • Before the movie, tell the audience who the NGC team is, what the purpose of the team is, what NGC is, what the team’s project is and what “Half the Sky” is about
  • Before the movie, show the Girl Effect video and show a video related to the team’s project (not really necessary)
  • After film, host a panel discussion — I can help the team get in contact with Jennifer and Lisa (directors at NGC) so they may come out and participate and connect the team to other possible panelists (I can help for those in the valley!)
2. Host a Poetry Night for [Country of Project]. This is a really fun and interactive event that the team may host, plus it really fits in with the resurfacing of an indie culture among younger generations
3. Have team members wear “Ask Me About [Country]”/ “Ask Me About [Project]”/ “Ask Me About [Global Issue]” signs for a day at school and engage peers during passing periods or lunch in conversation! Also, have a table at lunch with fliers and a jar for donations and a trifold board with interactive info about the project. Take a look here for one way of going about this! 

Tolleson’s Life Change Drive

Posted by Noemi Gonzalez, Team Mentor and student at ASU

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The Tolleson team has been active in raising awareness about A Ban Against Neglect on campus by producing coin pouches (parallel to some of the goods that ABAN’s young mothers produce) and have gone around their campus with “Ask Me About” signs in hopes to resonate curiosity from their peers as well as to bring in funds. To learn more about ABAN, please click here. 

The team raised about $200 just in 2 days!


Magnolia High School Washes Away Poverty in Nicaragua


Posted by Jose Luis Gomez, Team Mentor and Student at Pomona College 

At the start of November, before the weather turned too “cool” in sunny Southern California, the Magnolia HS Team dedicated a Saturday morning to fundraise for their global project: Las Tias.

From 10 AM to 3 PM, the team labored and focused on attracting customers to their car wash while making this event as centered on educating the public as much as possible. To do so, the team made fliers about their event and their project that they posted around their school, handed out to people at stores, and distributed at parking lots.
Las Tias (The Aunties) is based in Leon, Nicaragua and provides art, music and education programs to help 6-18 year old Nicaraguan kids (many of whom who live on the street) who are at risk of developing substance abuse problems or experiencing neglect or abuse.
The team professes to having lots of fun during this event and enjoying the work they put towards this fundraiser.