Students enrolled in Lapeer Community School’s Senior Capstone course at The Center for Innovation recently participated in a team project, Pay-it-Forward, to raise funds for a local nonprofit organization of their choice in order to give back to the community. Collectively, student teams raised over $3,112.00 to give back to various local nonprofits.
“This fundraiser has been the most rewarding thing I’ve gone through in high school,” said senior Thomas Gildner. “I’ve learned the importance of teamwork and giving back. Using our skills and talents to give back was very rewarding. I’m very grateful to have been a part of this.”
Some teams organized item drives for local non-profit organizations as well. One team collected over 500 cans of food for a local soup kitchen. Several other teams collected personal items and/or blankets for Operation Care Package, The Refuge, and Habitat for Humanity and others.
Fundraisers ranged from bake sales and pop can collections to a chili cook-off event and a kids night lock-in for elementary students. A special thanks to Lapeer High School, Rolland-Warner, Zemmer, Lynch, Turril, Schickler, and Bishop Kelley who helped teams facilitate their fundraisers/drives within their buildings.
“It wasn’t just another project that I had to complete for school so I could get a grade that I hoped for,” said senior Amber Culbert. “It was about helping people that were in need. My time was worth that. I learned to be more thankful for what I am blessed with.”
Over the six-week project-based learning experience, students researched a local nonprofit, presented their fundraising plan to a small public audience and their peers, organized and implemented their fundraiser, created a budget sheet, and reflected on what the experience taught them–many indicated that the project created a new empathy for those in need. Some of the skills this project developed for students included communication skills, collaboration skills, leadership abilities, and time management.
“What I took away from this project will not stay in the classroom; what I learned here will be with me for the rest of my life,” said senior Brad Woloszyk. “This wasn’t just ordinary school work; this unique project was an experience that no book work could have ever taught me.”
The Senior Capstone experience is designed to be an innovative program that will allow our students to engage in real-world learning that is relevant to them and connected to where they want to go following graduation.
During the two-hour block, students will engage in study that includes material in the core content areas (Math, English, Social Studies and Science), while also working intently to develop skills that are highly valued in higher education and the world of work.