Going into the school year, Coalition has made an effort to completely reorganize. The club wants to raise its expectations of student education and achievement. To do this, they restructured meetings and events. This process began at the end of last school year, when the group’s leaders met to discuss ways to promote and improve the club.
In the past, Coalition has had an elected president and vice president as the club’s leaders. But for this year, sponsor David Muhammad decided to change the student leadership roles by adding more positions on the club’s board.
“We decided to really increase the number of people to get active [on the board],” Muhammad said. “I feel like the more people you put in leadership roles, then people will be more committed.”
Coalition is a student-led humanitarian organization that raises funds and awareness for various global causes. It was started in 2008 by alumni Sarah Are and Jessie Light. After their original sponsor got sick, the girls went to Muhammad as a staff sponsor.
“I went to a meeting to see what it was all about and I was blown away by the awareness that these kids had,” Muhammad said. “It just became a passion of mine.”
There is a theme for each month which the meeting topics and events are centered around. Part of the goal of this change is to attract more students to go to meetings and events. Muhammad wants students to see Coalition as a club for people with diverse or specialized interests.
“We felt like we had a lot of interest in a lot of different topics, and we wanted to touch on a lot of different things,” Muhammad said. “[We wanted] to make people who might have interest in one area but not another feel like [they] can be a part of Coalition.”
For example, the theme for September is hunger. Coalition will be working with local and international organizations to draw attention to and fight hunger. They are hosting a walk in the morning on Friday, Sept. 13. Afterwards, participants can pledge to fast during the school day. They will also have a bake sale on Sunday, Sept. 15, and the proceeds from it will go to an international organization called Stop Hunger Now.
They will also host a Free Rice competition as one of their activities. Participants will use computers in the library to answer trivia questions, and for each question they answer right, ten grains of rice will be donated by Free Rice to fight hunger. At the end, whoever donates the most rice will get a prize.
“Two years ago we crashed the site because we had so many people doing it, so that’s really cool, that’s [the participation level] we’re going for this year,” Muhammad said.
Other big events coming up this year include a Halloween costume party in October and a fashion show at the Crossroads, which will support Change the Truth, a nonprofit organization that supports orphans in Uganda. For the fashion show, Coalition is partnering with NAHS, since NAHS members will be making the costumes.
“It’ll highlight the students’ artwork and tie in Coalition’s theme at the time,” Muhammad said.
Junior Coalition executive board member Maggie Rose Bridges is an events coordinator. She helps plan the events and themes for each month. She got involved in Coalition to better understand global issues and have fun trying to support them.
“Being involved and dedicated to Coalition is important to me because I like having a global perspective and I love having a part of every week be for someone besides myself,” Bridges said.
Muhammad’s main goal for this year is to increase the learning students get out of the meetings, while also having fun.
“I want to see people come to our events and come to our meetings and leave with an enhanced awareness of the causes and the organizations,” Muhammad said. “[In the past], sometimes [education] hasn’t been pushed as much because we wanted to get so much money raised.”