On January 12th 2019, Indopak Club held their 11th annual Indian dance show at Irvington called Dil Se. Meaning “From the Heart”, the lively show included 22 teams of dancers who displayed many types of Indian dance such as Bollywood. Students came from schools throughout the Bay Area. This year Dil Se donated $2,000 to Small Steps Foundation, a non-profit organization in Fremont dedicated to providing technology programs to youth in the Bay Area.
iArtsTech Foundation was founded to help expose students to technology and digital art early in their lives. Throughout the year, they have hosted numerous fundraisers and a technology drive to raise money for their service trip to Bengbu, Anhui, China. The September SIA Jefferson Award for excellence in youth leadership in public service is awarded to iArtsTech Foundation.
Description of Project
From June 14 to June 28, 2018, iArtsTech traveled to Bengbu, Anhui, China to teach middle school students at both a public and private school. At the public school, they taught the top students at the school how to make digital art on iPads. At the private school, the team presented a powerpoint about American culture and taught them English. As part of the cultural exchange, the students also presented a powerpoint about their culture and language.
The cultural exchange helped alleviate a lot of the stress they had from finals. Additionally, even though the school’s principals did not think learning about art would influence them in a positive way, the students learned the benefits of having a well-rounded life with both academics and extracurriculars/hobbies. A lot of the students were really surprised and intrigued by the tools they could use to produce digital art.
Inspiration for Project
They were inspired to plan this service trip after a trip Natalie and Nancy went on with a different organization, but wanted to find a more organized trip that reached different communities. After Nancy and her mom visited the village in China, they communicated with the village mayor to coordinate logistics, such as lodging at the school’s dorms.
Some of the difficulties they encountered included communication because they had to stay in constant contact with the mayor and had spotty service. However, they overcame it by using WeChat.
Advice to Students Interested in Planning a Service Trip
Constantly meet throughout the year to finalize logistics
Make sure you prepare all documents ahead of time and apply for your visa.
Travel insurance that covered medical needs, baggage, etc. was extremely beneficial for us.
Have fundraisers throughout the year to help subsidize cost and to go towards your cause.
Be able to adapt to different circumstances.
To learn more about this project, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/iArtsTech/ or their website, https://iartstechfoundation.org/.
This month, we would like to congratulate all freshmen for doing an amazing job on their first benchmark project, CHANGE. They have been working all year long on a research report and a service project to mitigate the effects of an environmental issue. On Thursday, April 26th, the freshmen presented at their open house and informed their community on how to alleviate their environmental issue. Here are ten of the amazing projects that the freshmen worked on:
Enya M, Agatha S, Monica P, Kartik K.
Problem: The Napa and Sonoma Fire has negatively affected the environment.
Service Project: They cleared dead brush to help decomposition and speed up the recovery of the forest.
Heavy Metal Remediation
Ved M, Sumukh S, Pratyush V, Shambhavi T
Problem: Heavy metals in architecture, pesticides, and trash flows into the runoff and into the aquatic and lowland ecosystem. This causes diseases in plants and animals, such as stopping photosynthesis, hemophilia, and Alzheimers.
Service: They planted tule in Tule Ponds which filter the . heavy metals and break it down to usable materials which help fragile plants sustain themselves.
Shivangi G, Alexander L, Shivani M, Edward N
Problem: An invasive species, French broom, is endangering native plants in the Bay Area.
Service Project: The group removed French broom from Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge.
Native Butterfly Population Decline
Aaron L, Chaiya C, Jenny H, Jared Y
Problem: The native butterfly population is experiencing a rapid decline.
Service Project: The group volunteered at Marin Headlands Native Plant Nursery and maintained the native plants
Phoebe L, Arushi K, Mehek P, Arjun K
Problem: Pollution at beaches causes harm to local wildlife.
Service Project: They picked up trash at the beach with the Pacifica Beach Coalition.
Charisse H, Alice H, Vy T, Cynthia Z
Problem: Invasive species are brought to new environments by human transportation or for ornamental and medicinal purposes. They cause native species to become extinct, decreasing plant diversity and increasing soil erosion.
Service: They pulled thistle, sedge, pigweed, mustard, fennel at Coyote Hills. This cleared space to plant native species.
Western Pond Turtles
Andrew C, Thomas S, Jenny T, Karolina L
Problem: The population of Western Pond Turtles has declined because of invasive species, disease, and human activity.
Service: They build nesting grounds for the turtles to lay their eggs.
Toxic Household Products
Joyce L, Joanne S, Eric H, Parnika N
Problem: Toxic household products harms the fish reproductive system and causes male fish to become female.
Service: They passed out fliers with a list of harmful household products to avoid and which eco-friendly products to use instead. They collected over 100 pledges to use eco-friendly products.
NonPoint Source Pollution
Claire H, Grace Y, Anusri C, Priyanka G
Problem: The runoff that washes into the bay contains pollutants, which harms the aquatic ecosystem.
Service: They planted bioswales that filter out polluted runoff.
Decline of California Poppies
Emily N, Kacey T, Sophia M, Ellie B, Kay K
Problem: Many poppies died because of invasive species, urbanization, and drowned from overwatering.
Service: They planted poppy seeds at Tule Ponds.
Congratulations to all freshmen!
After just starting last year, IrvingTHON has raised over $1200 for the pediatric oncology department at UCSF Benioff Hospital. The funds go towards “aiding families of children affected by childhood cancer and funding research within the field of pediatric oncology” (IrvingTHON). The April SIA Jefferson Award for excellence in youth leadership in public service is awarded to Corinne Hansel, the founder and president of IrvingTHON.
THON began in Pennsylvania, and IrvingTHON is a six-hour event where volunteers would join together and stand their feet for the entirety of the event. This signifies a small portion of the suffering that children fighting cancer go through every day. Participants dance, watch performances, and compete in numerous activities organized throughout the event.
Inspiration behind IrvingTHON
Corinne grew up in Pennsylvania and always wanted to participate in the 24 hour mini-THONs that the local university would host. Her brother is a sixteen year cancer survivor, so she has always been heavily involved in both THON and Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a Philadelphia organization that raises money for childhood cancer research. Her brother and sister participated in THON all four years of their high school, and her brother was often a speaker at the events. Alex Scott, the girl behind Alex’ Lemonade Stand, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, and had the same doctor as her brother. Her family knew the Scott family well, and they worked closely with her foundation. However, after moving to California, Corinne knew she wanted to start her own THON at Irvington and partner up with UCSF.
Last year, Irvington hosted its first IrvingTHON which lasted for six hours and included music, food, sports, games, guest speakers, dancing, and grade-versus-grade competition. At the end of the night, it was revealed that they raised $900. This year, IrvingTHON has hosted three events so far: Rita’s fundraiser, toy drive, and coin drive. They have raised over $300 and 100 toys, and Corinne has begun to plan the second IrvingTHON.
Difficulties IrvingTHON Overcame
When planning the first IrvingTHON, Corinne overcame many obstacles, such as publicity for the events and getting more students involved. However, she was able to overcome this by publicizing on multiple platforms and partnering up with ASG to involve more of the student body in the planning process. This year, she hopes to reach out to more students to both help plan and attend the event.
This year, Corinne plans to host the second IrvingTHON and surpass last year’s goals. She hopes to host a smaller IrvingTHON near the end of the year and maximize the amount raised by decreasing expenses and hosting more low-risk fundraisers.
If you are interested in participating in this year’s IrvingTHON or learning more about this organization, please contact Corinne Hansel or visit the IrvingTHON Facebook page at https://tinyurl.com/irvingTHON.
On December 1, 2017, IHS Resonance partnered with IHS VAMS and MSJ Vams to host their yearly benefit concert. Students from around the district come to perform at Irvington High School, playing various instruments and singing. The Students in Action team has awarded Rachel Guo and Claire Cheng, IHS Resonance’s presidents, the first-ever SIA Jefferson Award for excellence in youth leadership in public service. They helped raise $2,200 for the Kefi Foundation for Hurricane Maria Relief.
Resonance started 7 or 8 years ago with the goal of having a yearly large-scale benefit concert. Each year, they pair up with other schools around Fremont to raise money through ticket sales for a chosen cause. It benefits both the student performers by giving them a chance to perform on stage in a professional environment while also giving back to the community.
Choosing the Cause:
Each year, the president hosts an officer meeting to brainstorm ideas for the focus of the benefit concert. First, they decide what direction they would like to go in, whether it is benefiting a natural disaster, cancer research, or music education. This year, they chose Puerto Rico because it was a current, prevalent issue that Rachel and Claire did not believe received enough support. Rachel and Guo was inspired by their government teacher, who discussed with them how Puerto Rico didn’t receive the same aid and relief as Hurricane Harvey and other United States natural disasters.
Surpassing Past Performances:
This year, the club was able to surpass it’s previous records and raised an astonishing $2,200 (compared to previous years which raised $1,000). They contribute their success to the increased involvement of other schools. In the past, Mission San Jose played a small role in the performance. However, this year, the Mission San Jose band and teachers played a bigger role by helping publicize auditions and the performance at their school. The wider reach allowed them to attract more attendants to the performance and increased ticket sales.
In the future, they hope to sing and perform at the Aegis Senior Center regularly and expand to more small-scale events. They hope to host more courtyard concerts and a spring benefit concert with Lynbrook High School. Please check out their website http://ihsresonance.weebly.com to learn more about how you can help their cause!
Their Advice for Aspiring Service Leaders:
Starting a service project is going to take a lot of work, but do not be discouraged. In the beginning, you might not get the results you want, but it will become more successful with time. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to people. Be shameless in publicizing for your event and really go for what you want.
On January 20th, Irvington’s Indopak Club held their 9th annual cultural show Dil Se which means “From the Heart”. This vibrant show consists of aspects of Indian culture such as the various dance forms, music, and clothing. A unique characteristic of Dil Se is the mashups of Indian Bollywood and folk songs with modern pop songs. With over 10 schools from the Bay Area participating and 2 sold out shows, Indopak donated $2000 to Project Rishi, a non-project organization dedicated to promoting development and growth in rural Indian communities.
Irvingthon was started by Corinne H. in 2017 to raise money for childhood cancer. Corinne got the idea from a similar event her siblings did while they were in high school. During IrvingThon, members of community perform activities and play games. This event has raised $900 and collected around 100 toys for children with cancer to be distributed during Holiday Season. Corinne is also organizing smaller events such as a coin drive starting in mid-February. This event has brought community members together and raised money for a worthy cause.
Friday 12/15 was Irvington Annual Resonance! Benefit Concert. This years concert raised money to benefit the island of Puerto Rico recently devastated by a hurricane that left most of the island without power. This years concert featured musicians and singers from IHS Resonance and Vams Clubs in addition to MSJ Vams Clubs preforming both festive songs and classical numbers. Resonance! was able to raise $2,200 all of which will be donated. If you missed this years concert make sure to mark your calendar for next December.
On Friday December 1st Irvington High School hosted our first of two blood drives. We were amazed to have over 120 people sign up to donate blood and more then a dozen students sign up to be runners, man the check in station and the recovery canteen. Our goal for this blood drive was to collect 60 units of blood for the Stanford Blood Center. At the end of the day we collected 68 units of blood! Thank you to everyone who helped and to the members of ASB who came to school at 6:45 to set up and stayed till 4:00 to clean up.
Often times we feel that task of making the world a better place is to big a goal to be accomplished. The key is not to get stuck thinking the change you can create must be a big radical change to be meaningful. Sometimes the smallest things we do can have profound impacts on the people around us. Making a difference starts small and over time these small changes add up to create larger and larger changes. Looking for inspiration? Check out Drew Dudley's TED talk "Everyday Leadership".
Irvington's students are in action!
Irvington High School held their second annual LGBTQ Tie Dye event on November 9th. Students of all backgrounds came out to the event to tie dye white crews. At this years event we raised $150 that was then donated to the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa Country, a center that promotes the wellbeing of the LGBTQ community. In addition next week when we wear our Tie Dye shirts we will show that Irvington supports all students on campus. Thank You to the Irvington GSA club for their help in making this event successful.
Welcome to our new students in action blog. We are here to share the stories of the many service projects happening on campus. We would love to share the story of your service project too! If you have a story to share please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to include pictures!