about the author
Youth Outreach Intern
Elizabeth Ratchford is a senior at DePauw University in the United States studying Anthropology and Communications.
When a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, students around the world stepped up to support WFP's relief efforts. Lives were saved through emergency food because students came together and decided they could make an impact. Now, nearly one year later, a gift from the Senior class at St. Stephens in Rome proves that students are still Helping Haiti.
Typically, the graduating senior classes at St. Stephens leave behind a gift. It’s a physical way for them to make a final mark on the school and offer something to the classes that follow. In accordance with tradition, last year’s class left behind a gift. But, instead of being used in the gymnasium or the auditorium, it’s being used over 5,000 miles away.
According to Michael Brouse, Director of External Affairs at St. Stephens, the tradition of senior gift-giving was established "to help create a philosophy of philanthropy among the students based on the premise that those who receive more are expected to help others more."
The class of 2010 decided to take this philosophy to the next level by using the money to help those most in need. Brouse told WFP that the students chose to donate money to Haiti as their senior gift, and that "the idea was enthusiastically embraced by the entire school community."
Traditions are good to have, but they can always be re-worked to make a bigger impact. Think about how a small change in your school's traditions could make a big difference. Need inspiration? Click here to learn how schools everywhere have found ways to help!