450 Students: One Goal
Baldwin School’s National Honor Society began the second semester of the 2018-2019 school year by culminating the 4 month long preparation for Next Generation: Sports Edition. This yearly event is inspired by Baldwin’s Sports Fest, a day in which each grade in middle and high school compete against each other in a series of sports including: indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, flag football and obstacle course. Emulating the event, Next Generation brings in around four hundred fifty students from different schools in the island, who create teams of twenty five to thirty people, all with one purpose: community service.
The Summer Institute
Each team raises a minimum of seven hundred fifty to nine hundred dollars (thirty dollars per person) for the charity of the NHS’ choice for that year. This year, the National Honor Society’s Next Generation: Sports Edition benefited The Summer Institute. The Summer Institute is a program for local public elementary school students. The program emphasizes skills development in mathematics, science, and English language arts in upper elementary grades. Through individual and small group instruction, the students receive targeted support, as well as enrichment, in content areas. This program is free of charge for students. Thirty third grade students are selected each year from local public partner schools, and then return to the Summer Institute for a second and third session in subsequent years. Each student commits to the full 3-summer duration of the program. Given that the program lost its main sources of funding, its continuation was turbulent.
Funds Exceed Expectations
This year, the total amount of funds raised exceeded all previous years as well as all expectations: an estimated $26,500. The National Honor Society secretariat for this year is composed of Nicole Polish (12) as president, Mariola Busquets (12) as vice-president, Ana Beatriz Soto (11) as treasurer, Antonio Ferré (12) as secretary, Alexxa Aponte (11) as historian, and Isabella Moran (12) as parliamentarian. The forty-eight members of the NHS were divided between committees led by each of the secretariat members in order to successfully prepare the event. Our success can be credited to the high demand made to the NHS members. For example, Ana Beatriz Soto, head of the sponsors committee, who asked each of the individuals in her team to attempt raising $1,000 for the event. They all did so, finding both monetary and non-monetary donations to contribute to the event.
Team Barea Joins the Cause
In the day of the event, the high schoolers were joined by Team Barea, a division one, twelve under basketball team who carry the name of the Puerto Rican National Basketball Association player José Juan Barea. They form part of the Puerto Rico Premier Basketball Foundation in partnership with the JJ Barea Foundation, and are the product of a project founded on education, service, and talent. As their first service activity, they benefited the Summer Institute in Next Generation: Sports Edition by attending the halftime and shooting baskets (each basket made = $10) to fundraise five hundred dollars thanks to a sponsor of the event.
The long awaited event was a tremendous success, and proved to be the effect of arduous work and preparation on behalf of the National Honor Society. The Summer Institute will receive the final check in front of the student body this semester. Nonetheless, its worth exceeds all records broken, as the gratitude of service has and always will be at the core of the National Honor Society and its secretariat.