INTO London WEC hurricane relief

INTO London WEC English teacher Arnaldo Griffin wanted a novel way to work with his students to develop their …

INTO London WEC hurricane relief

05 Jan 2018

INTO London WEC English teacher Arnaldo Griffin wanted a novel way to work with his students to develop their Academic English skills.  The answer: a student-run event to raise awareness of an issue important to them, and using INTO Giving’s new iGive campaign to raise financial support for that issue.

Students began by debating a number of philanthropic topics in class, before deciding on climate change as their theme. From there, they decided on organizing a panel discussion as the best method of raising awareness of climate change, and researching who would be appropriate to serve on the panel.

It was then that things really got cooking. Students – sixteen in all, from China, Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Thailand – organized themselves around a series of tasks, from researching and contacting potential panellists, to writing and designing a leaflet for the event, creating and practicing a PowerPoint presentation they would take in turns delivering to a live audience before the panel took to stage, and promoting the event throughout their center to students and faculty.

Two experts recruited by students said yes to serve as panellists discussing climate change and business: Elaine Trimble (Director, Urban Infrastructure at Siemens) and Professor Michael Tamvakis (Director MSc in Energy, Trade & Finance at Cass Business School).

Owing to the number and ferocity of hurricanes that devastated families, communities and businesses in 2017, students next decided to use the event to raise financial support to help victims of Hurricane Maria, which swept across Puerto Rico in September, destroying up to 90% of housing and leaving the island’s 3.4 million inhabitants in the grip of widespread medical crisis, housing crisis, food and water shortage and economic wreckage.

Fundraising for Hurricane Maria relief took the form of £5 entry fee to the panel discussion. Everyone who paid the entry fee was entered into a prize draw, with the top prize an Amazon voucher donated by Catherine Mosquera, INTO Middlesex Street Catering Supervisor.  

Once all of the entry fees (plus a few extra donations) were counted, £181.40 was raised for PRIMA, a Puerto Rican non-profit. But because this money is channeled through INTO Giving’s iGive campaign, which tops up fundraised income by an extra 20%, the grand total raised was £217.68 (US $295).

‘It’s a fantastic way to engage students,’ said David Silbergh, INTO London WEC Centre Director, who attended the event. ‘You could see it in them, all that energy and confidence.’

INTO Giving Director Chris Walker, who also attended the event, echoed that sentiment. ‘It’s bold stuff. Students are impassioned by philanthropic causes, they want to do something to help others.  And there’s INTO Giving, an easy to reach tool for engaging with and teaching students. We’re seeing more and more of it, on both sides of the Atlantic, from INTO GCU, to INTO Marshall and now INTO WEC. Straight A’s, all around.’


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