Honors American Studies class raises money to combat water poverty in Guatemala

A group of about 30 FHS students grades 10 – 12 have participated in mission trips to Dorie’s Promise Orphanage in Guatemala. On the trips, the students play with the children and also do community service projects in Guatemala to help combat the abject poverty in the region.

“The water there is the worst in the world,” junior Sarah Johnson said. “A good way to help the community besides loving on the children is to provide clean water. We bring water filters and sink-like structures which provide a place to store water. The biggest thing about the trip is the way your perspective changes. I like how there are students in so many grades involved so we can raise awareness in the school.”

An approximately 70 student fundraising effort for this cause started with a cancelled movie. After a power outage cancelled a class field trip to the movie theater, sophomore Michael Fabatz asked his class to donate their $7 ticket money to buy water filters for Guatemala. Almost all of the class agreed and 12 filters were purchased with the funds. Fabatz later attended a mission trip to Guatemala and was able to see the effect of the repurposed ticket funds firsthand.

“I went on the mission trip to Guatemala during winter break and it changed me,” Fabatz said. “I saw the need for clean water and the impact of this water poverty. I was able to hand out water filters and see the positive impact they had. This made me want to see what else we could do.”

At Fabatz’s request, his Honors American Studies (AMS) class agreed to do more fundraising as an MYP community service project. The class broke into small groups to develop a logo, website and a fundraising strategy.

“My group is called the One World Water Project,” Fabatz said. “We want the fundraisers to be more than just asking people for money. We want to get the student body involved in a fun way. My group’s fundraising idea is to have another Ambassadors concert to raise money.”

The Honors American Studies class is also working with the Advanced Video Production class that produces “It’s Early in the Morning” to create a public service announcement (PSA) to advertise the fundraising project. Members of advanced video met with the class to discuss storyboards and a rough outline of how the videos will be created.

“Each person in the group came up with a storyboard and then as a group we picked one storyboard,” Fabatz said. “We want the videos to be between 30 seconds and a minute and advertise the fundraiser to the student body.”

The class gave presentations to a group of video students about their PSA and fundraising ideas. The AMS class voted to use Fabatz’s as a fundraiser, but the final decision by the Advanced Video class and Mrs. Rausch was not made at the time of press.

The advanced video class has met with the group and looked at the different storyboards and has begun selecting a fundraising and PSA idea that will be easiest to execute. This project gave sophomore students the opportunity to do something different with their classroom time while raising money for a worthy cause.

“This project is great because it is a worthy cause,” sophomore Mackenzie Mead said. “Also, it is fun to bounce ideas off of each other as a class and hear different people’s ideas.” Listen to announcements for information about the upcoming fundraiser and how to get involved.