A group of Grade 12 Semiahmoo Secondary students who say it’s easy to take their education for granted are making an effort to help students living in rural, poverty-stricken villages in China and India.
Founded by three members in 2015, the Thinking Sprout Society is reinventing itself with new membership and new events, but are following the same mandate.
“I find that it’s very good to make a difference in the community, because it’s sort of a first world problem in Surrey, in a sense, how fortunate we are,” said society member Josh Hashimoto, 17, who visited Peace Arch News during their summer holiday last week with fellow Semiahmoo Secondary students Michael Luo, 17, and Tony Liu, 17.
Over the past year, the society has registered itself as a non-profit with B.C., and is in the process of becoming an official school club. With the help of a $2,000 donation by current society president Junru Lyu, the organization has raised more than $3,000 and collected numerous school supplies for the less fortunate.
The organization’s trade-mark event, which it’s planning to host again next May, is Education for Education.
For the event, the club invites recently graduated high school students to host a presentation for students and parents on their experiences of applying to universities. The ticketed event raised $900 last year.
Last school year, the organization also sold chocolate and held a TS Coffee House fundraiser, which featured music, comedy and refreshments.
This year, the group is making an effort of doubling its events and making them more accessible to residents outside of the school community.
“New events that we’re coming up with right now include school supply drives, tutoring sessions and math competitions. We’re going to be more accessible to athletics by hosting a trail run and soccer camp for younger kids,” Hashimoto said.
In addition to supporting children in China, the society has partnered with Dalit Freedom Network Canada, an international organization that provides children access to education in India.