A group of high school students will spend the next year preparing for a trip to Ghana, where they hope to learn more about the country and do some good along the way.
A dozen students, mostly from Heritage High School, are participating in Project Wisdom, a new international service learning program that originated at the school. While they’re in the country next summer, the students will help a variety of aid organizations and others with their work.
But until then, they’re busy fundraising and learning as much as they can about Ghana and what they can do to help address problems there, from issues of poverty to environmental protection.
Miles Macleod, an English teacher and the project adviser, said he wants students to see how much they can learn from people in Ghana who are working on the ground to help the country thrive – and to realize that the students have access to resources that can bolster that work.
“So many students don’t understand the power they hold just living in America, getting the education they do, and having the resources they do,” he said.
The students in Project Wisdom also will partner with other clubs and classrooms throughout the year to further their mission.
“We’re really trying to make this a collaborative effort, one affecting not just a dozen students but hundreds of students,” Macleod said.
When the students return from their trip, they hope to bring ideas about future service projects they can do to help organizations in Ghana.
Parker Savage, a sophomore who is part of Project Wisdom, said he was drawn to the program because it was a long-term commitment. He thinks it will be a chance to make a meaningful contribution.
“This seemed like a unique opportunity,” he said. “I’ve never heard of anything like it.”
The project grew out of an effort by Macleod and his wife to support schools in Ghana, the country, after they spent time working there. When the Macleods returned to the U.S., they found students were among the most eager to help.
Macleod decided last year to revive the effort as a project rooted at Heritage.
The group’s first fundraising efforts include “Eat Local, Think Global Night” nights at restaurants. On one night each month, through January, a local restaurant will donate a portion of its proceeds to the group. A golf tournament also is planned for Oct. 7.