Members of the Movement: Vanguard High School

At buildOn, we celebrate the creative and adventurous steps that members of the buildOn movement take to support education and service at home and abroad. Our ‘Members of the Movement’ series highlights the vital work of these supporters are doing to help empower youth and end the education crisis.

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Chapter Members Raise their Voices to Raise Funds

Planning large scale fundraising efforts in addition to teaching is no easy feat. But thankfully, Daniele Fogel has a good team – 12 students – from New York City’s Vanguard High School, where she teaches English and advises the school’s buildOn chapterbuildOn chapters are groups of students, teachers and community members who come together to raise funds for the construction of buildOn schools in some of the economically poorest countries on the planet.

The chapter members at Vanguard High School prove that our school building program’s impact does not end with our international partner communities and a big reason we love their fundraising efforts is how creative they are.

They have held twice-weekly bake sales and have organized a raffle. They’ve reached out to their former teachers for support and run interactive events at school, including a photobooth on Halloween where the students snapped photos for a dollar. They also write letters to community leaders, advocates and companies with a history of philanthropy.

But the most exciting initiative is that the group canvasses in their neighborhood. Despite the chill that set in early this fall, the students took to the streets to raise awareness about the education crisis. Over the following months, they have continued to ask their neighbors to donate, however much they can, to support the new school’s construction costs.

“I am hoping that [my students] take away a greater understanding of their role in their community but also in the world at large and really grasp a sense of the difference they can make and the power that they hold,” Daniele says.

It’s easy to feel like you cannot have much of an impact when you’re a small group of students from one of the largest cities in the United States. But, this group feels that their voices are especially strong when they work together.

“If you don’t have commitment and perseverance, other people will give up and think that your cause isn’t important. But if you make some effort and keep it up…they are more likely to commit to help you to help change the world,” Cynthia, a Vanguard chapter member, says.

The Vanguard team is working hard to raise approximately $12,000 more in order to reach their goal by April so that the entire team is able to travel abroad to break ground on a new school.