The Global Issues Club at Surrey's Frank Hurt Secondary is determined to make a difference. Above is a red dress display at the school to help raise awareness of the missing and murdered indigenous women

Surrey’s Frank Hurt students take on the world

Global Issues Club runs campaigns to create awareness and advocacy in their school and community.

It may have been a rainy Tuesday afternoon on Dec. 15, but the weather wasn’t dampening the spirits of members of Frank Hurt Secondary’s Global Issues Club (GIC) as they discussed how their campaigns have created awareness in their school community.

“We’re just a group of kids that want to make a difference locally and globally,” said GIC member Tara Trang.

So far this year, the GIC has initiated a number of campaigns, from a memorial for the 14 women murdered in the 1989 École Polytechnique attack, to a Red Dress display that highlights murdered and missing indigenous women, to raising funds for Syrian refugees and the Surrey Food Bank.

The club has been a pillar of the Frank Hurt school community for more than 10 years and is currently co-run by teachers Melanie Scheuer and Roxanne Pope, who have recently expanded the scope of the club to bring awareness to various issues.

“We work very closely with Free the Children, as well as NightShift (Street Ministries), the Surrey Food Bank, Immigration Services Society of B.C. (ISS), the Red Cross, and QMunity,” said Scheuer.

She added that GIC students have begun a Pride Week event in association with the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club, and are currently working on ways to bring awareness to mental health issues.

According to members of the GIC, the most successful campaign to date this school year has been to raise funds for Syrian refugees through a variety of bake sales. The club raised $1,000 and has given $500 each to the Red Cross and ISS.

“Everyone was so excited to help, and we’re still really involved because we’re getting some [refugees] coming to our school,” said GIC member Anisha Karan. “And kids have signed up to help them get accustomed to Frank Hurt life.”

Many of the students attribute the success of the GIC to the enthusiasm and knowledge Scheuer and Pope impart on them.

“Ms. Pope and Ms. Scheuer make sure that we’re spearheading all the campaigns,” said GIC member Asha Khondoker. “They motivate us to do it, and then we see how we’re actively making a change.”

Fellow GIC member Aide Idemudia agreed.

“Ms. Scheuer and Ms Pope are so enthusiastic about it,” said Idemudia, “They just draw everyone in.”

While Scheuer and Pope appreciate the accolades from their students, they know that without the teens’ involvement and ideas, the GIC would not have the same reach it does now.

“It’s student led, with us as mentors,” said Pope.

The GIC has already begun planning for a blanket and clothing campaign that runs in January. For more information about what the GIC is up to, follow them on twitter @FHGlobalIssues

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