BCHS Generous Group Project Benefits Friendship Centre

Grade 9 students learn the importance of philanthropy

On January 26, Bonnyville Centralized High School’s Grade 9’s carried on with their long-standing tradition of participating in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI).  Students worked in teams since the beginning of December 2016 to research a local, grassroots charity in hopes of winning $5000 on their behalf.  This year, team “Generous” did an excellent job depicting the ever-present need for goods at the Bonnyville Friendship Centre.
Over the last 13 years, BCHS students have participated in YPI, giving $65 000 to various charities in and around the Bonnyville area.  Each year, the Toskan-Casale Foundation generously donates $5000 to each school registered in the program.  Students must create a presentation depicting social issues and charities who help alleviate these issues.  The group who gives the best presentation and showcases their charity’s need is awarded the money to donate to their charity.
A panel of judges is selected to make the decision and this year included teacher Nicole Baker, a member of the BCHS Parent Council, as well as current and former students who won YPI in previous years.  Baker, the first teacher at BCHS to do this projects says, “It is teaching the students real-world skills within the scope of a project where they have the chance to change the world.”  
Students who have been helped or know someone who has been helped by various charities in the area feel good about being able to give back. “I gave this project my everything,” proclaimed one student.
Overall, 22 charities were represented by 24 groups of students.  Three of these charities were new as of 2015.