Students from the 19 Admission Possible partner high schools challenged themselves to see which high school group could collect the most donations to help those in their communities. In total, they gathered 10,263 pounds of food and other donations.
“By organizing a competitive volunteer activity, we’re encouraging the students to get excited about service and to have fun doing it,” said Andréa Carroll-Franck, the Admission Possible AmeriCorps member who led planning for the day’s events. “Admission Possible receives a lot of support from the community, so we feel that it is very important for our students and staff to give back.”
Admission Possible makes community service a key component for students participating in the organization’s free after-school college preparatory programming for low-income students, working to develop an ethic of service in students, and helping students see their own potential for making a difference in their communities. Each student completes a minimum of eight hours of community service each year of the two-year program.
Mid-day, the participating students, staff and program alumni gathered at the Minneapolis Sports Center to fill the food bank truck with the collected donations and participate in a service rally. For Patrick Henry High School student Mae Yang, the day was a success. "I got up and did something that helped a family in need,” she said.
Robbinsdale Armstrong High School collected the most donations per student with more than 800 items, winning the chance to decide where money from an organization-wide fundraiser would be donated. They chose to give the more than $1,000 donation to Action Against Hunger, a nonprofit that saves lives by eliminating hunger through the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition.
As students and staff prepared to wrap up the day, Admission Possible founder and CEO Jim McCorkell helped everyone reflect on their service. “Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’ Well, today all of you answered that question in a big, big way. Congratulations to each and every member of the Admission Possible team for making a huge difference today,” McCorkell said.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also had a message for the students, assuring them that they will be this nation’s greatest resource, but to fulfill their potential they must go to college, and Admission Possible can help them get there.
The mayor also took time to speak with students, including Edison High School student Kamesha Beeks. "The mayor gave me good advice about which school would be a good fit for me," Beeks said. "It was great to talk to him."
Representatives from the offices of US Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken also shared congratulatory letters from the Senators and offered remarks of encouragement in achieving their dream of college.