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Beyond Borders students set fundraising goal to $150,000

'I think now more than ever, we’re seeing how important it is to be giving back to help other people in need'
20220519 Envision Beyond Borders AD
High school students participating in Beyond Borders this year hope to raise $150,000 for local charities.

High school students in Beyond Borders are planing to raise $150,000 for local charities. If successful, it will be the most money raised by the experimental learning program. 

“We want to show that giving back is super important, no matter your age or anything like that,” said Olivia Manes, a Grade 12 student at John F. Ross High School who is participating in Beyond Borders.

For the past 10 years, Grade 12 students across the Upper Grand District School Board have come together in Beyond Borders to help create and run a charitable event within the community.

Between June 10 and 12, 37 students will host a series of events for Envision Beyond Borders.

"Friday and Sunday, we're going to be having events at Strom's (Farm and Bakery) so we're doing a gala type of event at night, and on Saturday, we're going to have a golf tournament at Hidden Lakes Golf Course, which is a public course," Manes said about the events, which more details about can be found at

Manes said their slogan for their events is 'imagine the future,' and the money raised will go to Doctors Without Borders, Guelph General Hospital and the David Suzuki Foundation.

"Through donating and being socially aware, we can imagine a future that's better for everyone and everything, and I think that's really amplified through the charities that we've picked," she said.

Mike Parsons, a teacher at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute, said past groups have managed to raise $120,000 and even $129,000.

"It's a remarkable accomplishment because usually it's about 40 students with only six weeks to do that," said Parsons. 

With the current students, Parsons said they are off to a good start and are working very hard, but reaching $150,000 will not be an easy task.

"Every year they have outperformed, but this year’s group is dealing with new challenges, with people working from home and with businesses, I think, being a little bit tighter as well,” said Parsons. “It’s certainly going to be difficult for them to get up to that number, but they have that goal in mind to top the other years, but they’re certainly facing more challenges than in the years past.”

Looking at the impact of COVID within the community, Manes said it has made students even more determined to reach their fundraising goal. 

“I think now more than ever, we’re seeing how important it is to be giving back to help other people in need, and I think the pandemic shed light on that,” said Manes. “I think this just gives us even more reason to push very hard and try to raise this money, even though there’s a lot of obstacles to overcome.”

Parsons adds regardless of how much students raise at the end, the educational value of Beyond Borders is priceless. 

“With the program, we’re not just focused on the curriculum, we’re focused on leadership development, we’re focused on developing their character, and we’re preparing them for whatever pathways are ahead of them," he said. "To me, seeing that they are prepared for the next steps, because they are finishing high school now, seeing them confident and ready for those next challenges, that’s my favourite part.”


Ariel Deutschmann

About the Author: Ariel Deutschmann

Ariel Deutschmann is a feature writer and reporter who covers community events, businesses, social initiatives, human interest stories and more involving Guelph and Wellington County
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