It All Started With A Conversation

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, scholars at E.A.Young Academy in North Texas were frustrated as they began to learn about educational inequality in third world countries. They scholars knew they were few in number and felt helpless to make a difference for such a large, complex problem. Over time, they researched ways to help in a meaningful way. This research and singular drive led to the formation of a student driven not-for-profit they named “Aphelion”. A turning point for the group occurred when a partnership was forged with the Maasai Girls’ Education Fund (MGEF). This organization’s goal is to improve the literacy, health, and economic well-being of Maasai women in Kenya.
For several months, members of Aphelion dedicated their talents, passion and spare time to creating something truly special that would inspire others to join their cause. Classrooms were filled with hand-crafted jewelry, play drafts, spoken word poetry revisions, choreography and the excited chatter of scholars exchanging ideas. On Jan. 7th, 2016, Aphelion gathered in the crowded auditorium of E.A.Young Academy to present the program they christened “SOAR!”. That evening, ten different performances captivated and moved the audience. The attendees also participated in a silent auction, purchased handmade jewelry, and sampled ethnic foods representing countries without educational equality. As Dr. Tracey Pyles, President of MGEF stated, “They thought of it. They created it. They designed it, wrote it, enacted it, choreographed it, danced it, sang it, and poured their generous hearts and souls into it.”
Entering 2017, the fledging group is now an official student run, not-for-profit with year-round efforts designed to continue the support of the Maasai tribe. This group truly came to understand the essence of Margaret Mead’s famous quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Does your school do something similar?

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