1 December 2023

Students turn $10 into $16k in school fundraising challenge

| Vanessa Hayden
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Group of students on top of mountain

St Paul’s College students were deservedly feeling on top of the world after raising more than $16,000 as part of their rite of passage program in Year 9 which also saw them hike Mt Kosciuszko earlier this year. Photo: St Paul’s College.

Walla Walla’s St Paul’s College Year 9 students turned $10 into $16,000 as part of a fundraising challenge set by their teachers this year.

The $10 challenge was a part of the school’s Rite Journey Program which is a year-long educational program aimed to support the development of self-aware, responsible, respectful and resilient adults.

“The program is a rite of passage experience that acknowledges and celebrates each young person’s shift into adulthood by building self-awareness, identifying strengths and providing conversations and experiences to guide the transition,” said teacher Melanie Wettern.

“The $10 challenge gave our students an opportunity to employ entrepreneurial skills to bless those who are in need.

“It teaches students to show compassion as well as creativity as they each began with only $10 which had to be returned at the end of the program.

“It’s also a great opportunity for students to develop their awareness of social issues and build empathy, which is a strong focus for service learning in their senior years of schooling (11 and 12).”

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Students were given two terms to complete their fundraising and their efforts were highlighted at a special presentation at St Paul’s College this month. Each student chose their own recipient to receive the funds.

There were some standout efforts.

Three boys before and after shaving their heads

Blake Dakin, Clancy Manning and Carter Britton raised nearly $4000 in their $10 challenge by shaving their heads for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. Photo: St Paul’s College.

Carter Britton, Clancy Manning and Blake Dakin raised $3906 by shaving their heads for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.

Jordyn Toomey raised $3093 for Juvenile Diabetes by organising a Golden Hole Golf Day at the Wagga Wagga Country Club and selling muffins at the event donated by Muffin Break.

Chanelle Cunningham and Ella Donoghue ran 42 km to raise $1062 for the Albury Wodonga Cancer Centre.

Riley Kenny raised $1040 for the Urana Hospital by recycling cans and bottles.

In all there were 17 organisations that benefitted from the exercise. They were:

  • Boys to the Bush
  • The Cancer Council
  • Black Dog Institute
  • Hands at Work
  • Dunroamin’ Animal Rescue
  • Country Hope
  • Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
  • Dolly’s Dream
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • Diabetes Australia
  • Destiny Rescue
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Headspace
  • Albury Wodonga Cancer Centre
  • Juvenile Diabetes
  • Urana Hospital
  • WWF.

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Throughout 2023, Year 9 students were set a range of tasks as part of their journey, several which put them outside their comfort zone.

“Our camp to Jindabyne saw students having to tackle mountain biking and hiking Mt Kosciuszko which was a big challenge that was well worth it when we reached the top!

“Other aspects of the students’ personal development included writing a letter to their future selves, spending three hours of solo time alone, sharing with their groups some of their deepest thoughts and opinions and spending time with mentors,” said Ms Wettern.

The Rite Journey was developed by teacher Andrew Lines and has been incorporated into school curriculums for 20 years. In 2022, it was being taught in 150 schools over four continents to 11,000 students.

The program aims to make a positive difference in society through nurturing and supporting children to understand their unique gifts and talents.

“Through understanding strengths and connecting to a curriculum embedded in lifelong skills and dispositions, we hope to support schools and families nurture the children in their care and prepare them for the world of adulthood. Our mission as an organisation is to support the development of global citizens ready and prepared for the world that awaits them,” says a statement on their website.

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