I teach immigrants, many of whom come from lower income families. I teach teenagers, many of whom are too greatly impacted by their sphere of influence that world issues do not phase them. I teach a group of students who often need outside assistance to provide for their needs. Whatever individual situation may exist with each student, I feel it is my duty to discuss social consciousness and the ways in which volunteerism enriches our world.
As a class, we take time each year to learn about what is going on in the world and what issues are important to each student. We learn about each other’s cultures and the values of our native societies.
Each year, as a class, we select a charity to raise money for. In years past we have raised money for malaria prevention nets or for the victims of Japan’s tsunami. This year the class wanted to support orphaned and impoverished children — I suggested raising money for AIM.
This year was our most successful in terms of the amount of money raised. However, the credit goes primarily to one student, a student who knows more than anyone the importance of the kind of support and services an organization like AIM provides to children in need. She is a new immigrant, she is a foster youth, she is a beautiful spirit who chose to receive donations for AIM, rather than personal gifts for her sixteenth birthday. She is a true inspiration to other young people and adults.
In addition to her generosity, a couple of other students did their part to approach others for spare change (or bills) to raise additional money for AIM. I have a great sense of pride and adoration for the hearts of the precious young people I have had the pleasure to teach, and it fills MY heart with joy to know that we have done something to positively affect the lives of precious Cambodian children.