On January 23, 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 2017 to research a local, grassroots charity in hopes of winning $5000 on their behalf. This year, the team who represented Bonnyville Search and Rescue did an excellent job depicting the ever-present need for support.
Over the last 14 years BCHS students have participated in YPI, giving $70 000 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 Ben Smith from the Baptist Church, and 3 students from BCHS: Shawna Bilodeau, Emma McClean, and Jessica Zaugg. 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.
“We knew about all the dedication it took and wanted help the charity,” proclaimed Kelly Bowler, one of the students who was part of the winning team. When asked what surprised her the most about the charity she said, “It doesn’t matter the temperature, they still have to go out and continue with their searches.”
BCHS teachers plan to continue with this program next year.