Invisible Children visit BSM

Shannon Cron

Returning to Benilde-St. Margaret’s for the second time, Invisible Children has helped to broaden the minds of students to the longest running conflict in Africa through their awe-inspiring story. As students began to understand the role they play in the solution, they were motivated to take action.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Students for Human Life group hosted five Invisible Children “roadies” (the volunteers on tour) while on their six-week tour of Mid-America, primarily promoting Schools for Schools. “It’s cool to be able to come to high schools,” said roadie Bryce Mittelstadt. “We can awaken a feeling of change.”

“Schools for Schools,” a competition put on by Invisible Children, is aimed at raising money to build and rebuild schools in Africa. “I personally believe there will be a change. Rebuilding schools gives the children a chance to rebuild their futures,” said Proscovia, one of the young adults from Uganda on a fundraising scholarship with the organization.

The first BSM Schools for Schools meeting was held after school the same day with nearly 70 people in attendance. “I think this is a big deal and people should get more involved,” said senior Nettie Sparkman. “Everyone should join Schools for Schools.”

Students walked out of the meeting with a craving to learn more and a willingness to help. “I heard it several times from the Invisible Children team how uncommonly thoughtful our students’ questions were,” said Mr. Zeckser. “They really appreciated our students.”

Sophomores Rachel Hogan and Rachel Binish felt especially moved after hearing Proscovia tell her story, saying it allowed them to truly connect with the cause. “I liked the Schools for Schools’ mission,” said Hogan, “they did a good a really good job of raising awareness, and although its a depressing situation, I feel ready to make a difference.”

Mr. Zeckser anticipates Schools for Schools will become a successful club at BSM, seeing as the students have been so proactive already. “The difference is that now we have a lot of students who really want to support them and get others in the community on board,” said Mr. Zeckser.

Students have already seen success with their efforts to advocate the cause––half of the $3,546 dollars gained from the Nov. 1 common basket supported Invisible Children and the Schools for Schools program, with the other half going towards AIDP in Rwanda.

BSM’s Schools for Schools team will continue to brainstorm fundraising ideas as well as raise awareness by wearing their Invisible Children t-shirts, bracelets, and other merchandise. “We want the students to know they have a voice,” said Mittelstadt. “They can change someone’s life.”