March 24, 2017
Recently, students at the Century Park Campus organised an impressive charity “fun run”. This was the third annual Make a Difference (MAD) run, which was inspired by the well known Terry Fox charity run, which aims to raise awareness and funds for cancer charities.
Despite inclement weather on the day, the event was a resounding success, attracting 450 registered participants and raising more than RMB 50,000 yuan, which broke the previous year’s record. The proceeds were donated to a student-selected local charity called the “Hand in Hand”, which provides hospice care for cancer patients.
The event was organised by a core team of 12 students, led by Year 12 Co-organisers, Lorenzo and Libby, both student Prefects. Faculty supported the event logistics in roles meant to empower student decisions. Nathan Tomochko, Secondary Co-Curricular & CAS Co-ordinator, was the Primary staff advisor to the students, and he commented “In student leadership initiatives such as this, the students gain valuable new skills, especially in project management, collaboration, and leadership, while also experiencing the value of working to benefit others”.
The students planned out the structure, organisation, and marketing for the run, collaborating with many stakeholders. The Co-organisers also managed many student volunteers who handled various aspects of the event. Libby shared that the experience provided her with valuable insight, saying “I have been involved with the student council for many years, but this event was on an entirely different scale. A big thing I have been learning is the strategy of delegation. The natural inclination is that you want to do everything yourself because you have an image of how you want things to turn out. But if you delegate according to people’s strengths, it actually results in a better end product.”
Families from all four YCIS Shanghai campuses participated in the run, also enjoying live musical performances from Century Park student bands, food from a variety of local vendors, and raffles with terrific prizes. And despite the weather, participants came together to walk, run, jog, bike, and rollerblade as they travelled along the 5km route around the neighbourhood of the YCIS Regency Park Campus. Tomochko adds, “It has been great to work with senior students each year as they organise and run this very worthwhile event. The MAD Run has now become part of our school culture, emphasising a service mentality and bringing our school community together to do something positive. I’m always amazed by the amount of passion and hard work the students put into this very worthwhile project.”
Student-led initiatives, as well as involvement in charity work, is part of the social fabric of the school. Lorenzo explained “Through the motivation to raise awareness for the fight against cancer, we realised that perseverance and the power of community could go a long way toward benefiting those in need. The MAD run taught us that, to make a difference, we have to commit and come together as a community.” YCIS students are empowered to create, develop, and manage meaningful initiatives, including events such as this, and they use their talents and energy to provide benefit to those people in need in the community. To learn more about the charity involvement, and charitable projects at the school, please click here.