Fundraiser held to support Kenyan student and bring awareness
By Marissa Bean
The road to success just got a little easier for one student in Kenya, thanks to the generosity of BSU.
Making the Grade in Kenya was an event held to raise money for a young girl in Kenya so that she can attend school.
The event, the first of its kind for the organization, was held by the Honors Student Congress on Feb. 24. The dinner was held inside the RCC Large Ballroom, while tables were set up nearby for various activities.
According to current Head of Services Committee Nara Nascimento, there were two goals for the evening: raising awareness about challenges to education around the world, and raising $2,000 for a young student in Kenya.
“This is our way of not only bringing it up and talking about education around the world and different barriers, but also doing something about it, such as providing a scholarship for a student named Hannah in Kenya,” Nascimento said.
Raising awareness began in the fall with an annual event for the Honors Student Congress.
“This all started with our Honors Fall Book Club. We have one every year and this past year we had the ‘I Am Malala’ book. We started talking about different themes around education and different challenges that people have around the world to get an education,” Nascimento said.
Emily Wiegand, who will serve as the Head of Service Committee next year, knew the liaison for the Beverly School in Kenya, and began organizing the event to benefit a student from that school.
Nascimento said, “They’re always looking for scholarships and things like that in order to help the students there. We thought it would be a great way to act on this idea that we had to have a theme. Everything we did this semester and last semester was an education-themed community service project, and this one is the pinnacle of everything we’ve done this year surrounding education.”
Raising money for Hannah was the main goal of the night, with hopes of raising $2,000. According to Nascimento, $2,000 would fund Hannah for one year.
According to Ashleigh Bell, treasurer-elect of the Honors Student Congress, the money raised would cover everything Hannah needs.
“She lives at the school, so it covers room and board, it covers anything she needs like materials, books, uniforms, and pretty much anything she might possibly need at her time there. This $2,000 will cover all of that,” Bell said.
Not only is an education important for Hannah, but the Beverly School plays a much bigger role in her life.
“This school pretty much provides her with a safe haven from the poverty and the different civil wars going on in Kenya right now,” Nascimento said.
There were three different means of fundraising at the event. According to Bell, donations were accepted, a 50/50 raffle took place, and a silent auction occurred at the dinner.
Donations are still being accepted by the Honors Student Congress in the Honors Center in the Academic Achievement Center.
In addition to the fundraising, a table was set up where cards could be made for students at the Beverly School.
The cards will be given to the students, not only Hannah, because “a lot of them are living away from home,” Bell said. “They’re not getting those letters, a lot of them do have sponsors from around the world, but they don’t receive those letters every day, so we want to encourage them to do well in school and to know that they’re going to do good things with their lives.”
Although this event was the first of it’s kind, there are no plans to make it the last.
“This could just grow, we don’t know what direction this could take, but it would be lovely to have this happen again, especially now that Emily Wiegand will be taking over my place in the community service part of the Honors Student Congress,” Nascimento said. “She’s the one who brought this idea up. I think she has some great things in the works, and I think this could definitely happen again.”
Nascimento said, “It could grow from here, and I don’t know where it will take us, but it’s exciting.”
Marissa Bean is the Arts Editor for The Comment. Follow her on Twitter @MarLaur16.