Magnolia High Rides for Change

Written by Team Mentor Kamrie Yeung

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On Saturday, November 23, 2013, six students from Magnolia High School left the comfort of their beds and stepped into their backyards – America’s backyard. Magnolia High School’s NGC team had organized a Ride for Change event to ride their bikes around their local park to pass around “goody bags” for the homeless in the park. These bags, carefully arranged by the team, contained water, granola bars, and socks. These were small offerings, but like coals in the snow, a precious gift. Team leader Ailene Ortiz recounts that in this deceptively simple act, they had learned that “a small token of care can have such impact on someone’s life”.  They became more aware that “poverty is happening in our own backyards, and we have the power to make a change”.

People in developed countries are often preoccupied (although sometimes rightly so) with what is going on in other countries and what is unjust in other societies that they overlook what is happening in their own backyard. Sometimes, in the midst of learning about and helping distant issues, we must remember that although America as a country is thriving, there are bubbles of poverty within itself. These are often overlooked, not receiving nearly as much care and attention as the “Red Cross” areas, and yet needing just as much. Magnolia High team’s event was sustainable, thoughtful, and enjoyable, which is what NGC, I believe, strives for our students.

Using education to escape substance abuse in Nicaragua

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The Magnolia High School team from Anaheim, California has truly put forth a large effort to publicize the efforts of their members and club to their community. Through car washes, booths at school-wide events, and bake sales, among other activities, the team has focused on raising awareness about poverty in Nicaragua while generating funds for the Las Tias organization.mag2

Las Tias implements art, music, and dance into education programs that help young Nicaraguans find the empowerment they need to break substance abuse issues. By providing educational resources such as tutoring, the 130 children who benefit can also further their education and lower their risk of being forced into the drug market.

In their first year, the team has established their presence while building off of existing on-campus events. This has allowed the team to increase their membership while also developing camaraderie between such leaders!

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