Kirstyn’s Experience on the Tolleson Union High Team 2014

NGC Tolleson Team: educating their community and raising funds for GWWI.

NGC Tolleson Team: educating their community and raising funds for GWWI.

This is the sixth year of the Tolleson NGC team. In the past they have advocated on behalf of organizations such as the Afghan Institute of Learning, A Ban Against Neglect, and the Nirvanavan Foundation. This year the team has chosen to sponsor The Global Women’s Water Initiative. This semester, the team has been hard at work raising funds and awareness on behalf of the organization.

The Global Women’s Water Initiative responds to the struggles and burdens that women in East Africa face related to their water collecting practices. GWWI provides training for these women in order to better their communities. They teach the women water, sanitation, and hygiene skills that greatly benefit their communities as a whole.

The Tolleson NGC team has already held multiple events to raise awareness about the organization and its goals. In the beginning of the semester, the team held an “Awareness Week” in which team members dedicated a week to teaching their peers facts about the pressing issues addressed by GWWI, delegating a different focus for each day. They also solicited donations during this event, raising about $160 total. Another event held by the team recently was a “Documentary Night,” in which the team screened the documentary, “It’s a Girl,” which explores the practice of female infanticide around the world. The team used the relevance of the film to advocate further for the GWWI.

NGC Tolleson Team at their Documentary Night.

NGC Tolleson Team at their Documentary Night.

For the remainder of the semester, the team plans to hold one more large event called “Poetry Night.” The team has hosted this event in the past, usually once per semester. This staple event attracts a large crowd and brings the community together. The purpose of the event is to not only raise funds, but also to educate the community and peers about literacy, education, and the GWWI.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kirstyn Rowen.

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.