Every so often, we come across a truly remarkable story from students, teachers or schools who are part of the ChatterHigh community. We are lucky to hear incredible stories of caring people coming together through selfless acts and charitable donations. These students are our future and they deserve kudos for the sense of community they are building! Here is one story from a group of students and their teacher at Hope Christian School in Alberta, Canada.
Margaret Dart, Online Teacher and Senior High Vice Principal, has been a ChatterHigh user since 2017, participating in our annual Let’s Talk Careers Competition since its inception. This fall, however, was a little different for her class. Hope Christian did fantastic in the fall competition, placing 2nd Place on the AA Leaderboard and receiving a prize of $600! On top of this school prize, there were 15 winners on the student leaderboard who earned bursaries, totaling $1,605.
The cash prize and bursaries are a great outcome, but this is where the story will tug on your heart strings: One student attending the online school is a Pakistani refugee. Currently living in Nepal, Abi and his family have been forced to move from country to country since leaving their home in 2014 as a result of religious extremism in their region. They have been trying to come to Canada for years in order to build a stable life.
While living in a UN Refugee Camp in Nepal, people from the Edmonton area connected Abi with Hope Christian School and he has been working towards his high school diploma since. With an 11-hour time difference, Abi’s dedication has him waking up at 1:30am to join in the virtual classroom.
When Margaret learned that Hope Christian had received prize money, the first thing she thought was, “What can we use this for? Who can we help?” then it came to her. Why not help one of the school’s own to help create a better life! Since Abi’s family was recently approved to start the process to immigrate to Canada, it was perfect timing.
Margaret sent an email out to the student body to see if anyone might be willing to donate part or all of their bursary to the cause. Right away, she received a positive response. Some students donated their entire winnings and it doesn’t stop there…
“Some gave with absolutely no questions asked; some are even asking to contribute more. A GoFund me page has been set up, and a virtual bottle drive has started for them to collect and donate more.”Margaret Dart
So it was decided: not only would the prize money go towards helping Abi and his family come to Canada, but the school community would help raise the required $27,000 to sponsor the family to come to Canada! They have also found the family a place to live when they arrive, and potential job opportunities.
We were able to hear directly from the students on the matter, who were asked why they donated their bursary money to the cause…
“It just felt like the right thing to do! When I found out that it was an option to donate it to help my fellow classmate I knew that is what I wanted it for because Abi had told us some stories from his past and what he was living in now. And there is such hope for him to have a better life in Canada!
What did Abi have to say?
“I am very thankful. I already feel that I have a lot of family and friends in Canada. I feel really excited to start my new life in Canada where we can help support ourselves and live in a safe environment and work towards making progress.”Abi P
Margaret will be encouraging the entire student body, parents and faculty to get involved in the upcoming Let’s Talk Careers Competition to continue to raise money for Abi and his family. She says that ChatterHigh has broken the ice and started this amazing movement for engagement and connection to this refugee family. She is proud of her students and so are we!
We look forward to following this story! A round of applause to Margaret and the students of Hope Christian School for your selfless actions that will make a real difference for Abi and his family. This truly is a remarkable story!
If you would like to follow or donate to Abi’s family, visit their GoFundMe page.
Have a remarkable story about the students in your community? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to feature it!