Students raise 10k for Philanthropy Project

More than 20 non-profit representatives came together with students in the International Baccalaureate Career-related Program (IBCP) at Mendham High School on December 4 to take part in a philanthropy panel and donation ceremony.

Students in the IBCP must complete a Philanthropy Project in which they identify their philanthropic interests, research charitable organizations that demonstrate a similar mission, analyze those charities and ultimately fundraise on behalf of an organization of their choice.

The chosen non-profits varied widely, from the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, to Deirdre’s House, the Big Dog Rescue Project, the Wounded Warriors project, Clean Ocean Action, and Pollinator Partnership, just to name a few.

In addition to fostering skills and attitudes that will aid the students in their personal and professional lives, the project also demonstrates the impact that a small group of high school students can have on their community.

The day started with Q&A sessions, where students asked non-profit representatives questions about their organizations, their roles, and skills needed to succeed in non-profit careers.

Following the Q&A sessions, a donation ceremony gave each student group the opportunity to introduce their fundraising project and present their chosen charity with their donation check.

Students Ben Mills, Maggie Kearns, Ben Rymer, and Liam Cabaj decided, as a group, their focus would be conserving the environment and named their group Wave of Hope. Cabaj, who rows on Lake Hopatcong, witnessed firsthand how the lake and communities were affected by the algae bloom this past summer and was inspired to take action by proposing the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to his group for their Philanthropy Project.

“We chose the Lake Hopatcong Foundation because they not only aligned with our goal of helping the environment, but they also focus on educational programs and helping the local community around the lake, such a vital part of our area of New Jersey,” stated Rymer.

The group collected donations outside of Little Nicki’s restaurant in Lake Hopatcong on November 2. In addition to the donations collected, Little Nicki’s donated a percentage of the proceeds from specified appetizers and entrees purchased that evening. Together, $118 was raised to help the lake!

The IBCP class started their philanthropy projects with a goal of raising $6,500. However, after bake sales, bowling nights, game tournaments, and more, the students exceeded that goal by raising $9,671.24!

A big congratulations to all the students for their hard work and for the difference they made in their community. We were thrilled to be part of the day and so appreciative of the hard work the students put in on our behalf as well as on behalf of so many other important causes.

Lake Hopatcong Foundation Communications Director Holly Odgers accepts a donation check from Ben Rymer, Liam Cabaj, Ben Mills, and Maggie Kearns.