W. J. Mouat Secondary team wins $5,000 for charity

The school recently held the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative competition

W. J. Mouat Secondary students Kristie Hartle and Aries Russell won $5

W. J. Mouat Secondary students Kristie Hartle and Aries Russell won $5

The second annual final presentation assembly of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) took place last week at W. J. Mouat Secondary and was won by a team representing Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Students Aries Russell and Kristie Hartle won $5,000 for the charity.

Second place went to the team of Miranda Osborne-Schmidt, Siena Testa, Mellissa Gentry and Jessica Romegioli, who won $300 for the Avalon Recovery Society.

The third-place group – Lappy Brar, Omarpreet Dhinsa, Simran Jassar and Nyota Munga – were awarded $200 for the Creative Centre Society for Mental Wellness.

The program is an international initiative designed to support young people in developing community awareness.

Students are taught about philanthropy and charity as part of their Planning 10 course at Mouat.

In teams, they research social issues in the community and create a presentation on a local charity they believe is best placed to tackle an issue for which they are passionate.

The YPI semifinals involve the winning team from each class making a 10-minute presentation in front of a larger audience and panel of judges.

The first-semester semifinals were held in January, resulting in the team of Russell and Hartle advancing to the finals.

The second-semester semifinals were held June 9, with the team from the Avalon Recovery Society selected for the finals and the Creative Centre Society team taking second place.

The finals were held later that same day between the top team from each semester.

Other charities represented at the semifinals were Habitat for Humanity, Zajac Ranch and the Abbotsford Food Bank.

The competition was judged by: principal Jay Pankratz; YPI representative Jordan Kok; Lori Masse of the United Way; assistant superintendent Gino Bondi; last year’s winners Simran Dhadda and Navjot Bahga; and last year’s finalists Matthew Connor and Avery Warkentin.

Master of ceremonies was Mark Thiessen, and organizers were Jen Edwards and Andrew Gundy.

The top team wins a $5,000 grant for their charity provided by the Toskan Casale Foundation in association with YPI’s partners and donors. Schools interested in the program must apply and have their application reviewed and approved before they can participate.

The program is open to schools in Canada, New York City, Northern Ireland and Scotland.