Since partnering with UWYV in 2007, the Fitchburg High School students have worked tirelessly to support the revitalization of their community through their Ventures, demonstrating their desire to be a part of the growth of the city they call home. Coming from a diverse background of experiences, students who choose to get involved with UWYV have a deep understanding of the issues that affect their community and generation and use this knowledge to create unique community Ventures.
Teams Launched to Date:
Students for Action of FHS
The Students for Action Team at FHS is devoted to empowering students to enact change concerning issues that members not only care about but that also affect other students. They plan to do this by registering students to vote, educating students on how to make their voices heard, and holding an annual memoriam for school shooting victims. The main purpose is to promote school safety and student activism through the power of using their voices.
Try Your Best
The mission of Try Your Best is to restore Bartley-Nolan Park, also known as “Half Court”, in Fitchburg. This is a local park, playground, and half basketball court. The facility has been neglected for some time so this team has "adopted" the park to make it more cosmetically appealing so there will be an increase in children who go there to play. The Team's inspiration came from all of the great memories they made together at the park when they were younger and they want to give back to the community so other young people can create similar memories.
This project-based Venture was created by The Current Events Club at Fitchburg High School. The mission of this Team is to install an Elkay ezH20 water bottle filling station at the school in order to give students a safer and healthier water source. The Team's project is helping to reduce the amount of single-use plastic water bottles that students buy or use. The school has been recorded to have high levels of lead which causes students to find alternatives to drinking from the current water bubblers.
The mission of this team is to make new and incoming students feel more welcome. Since Fitchburg Public Schools have the 5th highest churn rate in the state the students felt there was a need for student ambassadors to welcome new students and help them figure out the crazy days at Fitchburg High School. The team pairs new students with an ambassador based on gender, grade level, and language. The ambassadors help new students learn the school schedule, help them get breakfast and lunch, meet up with them at the end of the day and show them to their bus. The ambassador is paired with a student anywhere from three days to two weeks.
Current Events Club
This Team understands the importance of doing community service, particularly for youth, but wanted to ensure that they and their peers could connect to service that they are passionate about. The Current Events Club is helping FHS students to earn community service hours for causes they truly care about while learning about issues affecting the community—often straight from news headlines. This examination and discussion about cause and effect of social issues, natural disasters, and more aims to help their peers understand the responsibility they have to participate in leading change.
Karate for Kids
Having spent many years learning first-hand the impact of martial arts training on one’s physical and mental health, the members of the Karate for Kids team realized that this activity was one they were lucky to have, as many students who need it cannot afford it. To remedy the situation, these members decided to create a Venture which would raise money to help give scholarships to those in need, especially focusing on those with disabilities with whom Fitchburg's Family Martial Arts Center program helps out.
Red Raiders Animal Helpers
Inspired by the presentation done by Sally Cragan of Be Pawsitive, a nonprofit that helps to support animals in need and provide therapy animals for people in need, the girls of Red Raiders Animal Helpers wanted to replicate such efforts through their Venture. The girls love of animals and their willingness to go the extra mile to help ensure those in need get the help they need will make this team one to watch.
FHS Against ALS
The ALS Venture Team is a unique team made up of students from Fitchburg High School, MWCC, and WPI. Their mission is to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a progressive neurodegenerative disease, more commonly known as ALS. This group was inspired by their Ally’s husband who was diagnosed with ALS and later passed away. Through an annual walk at Fitchburg High School, they will raise money to not only donate to the ALS Foundation, but they will also continue to raise money to support the Glenn Robert’s Memorial Scholarship.
Guardians of Camp S.U.N.
A good cause can have the power to unite many different individuals behind a single goal. This idea was proven true by the efforts of the Counselors-in-Training at this summer’s Camp S.U.N. in Fitchburg. Already leaders in their own right this diverse group of 14 seventh- and eighth-grade students were able to put their heads together to create a single Venture idea, complete an action plan, present their idea before a panel, and implement their project in a period of only four weeks!
Dedicated to raising awareness about the problems of bullying in schools, and how their passion for the arts can help the bullied and bullies alike, the team launched an awareness campaign to Camp SUN participants, ranging in age from grade one through eight. Through informative presentations and personal stories about the effects of bullying, including a skit about how students can stop bullying at their schools, they were able to make a major impact on the impressionable minds of the younger campers. Not only did they help their fellow campers understand what bullying is, these students have become ambassadors for the Fitchburg school district as a whole, helping pave the way to put an end to the problems of bullying once and for all.
What began as a push to build more bathrooms in Coolidge Park in Fitchburg has transformed into an incredible effort by the members of Team ARCS to help improve Fitchburg on a much grander scale. They are now dedicated to having their venture work in tandem with the City of Fitchburg Mayor’s office and Department of Parks and Recreation to gain community support for the construction of a whole new field house in Coolidge Park. This Venture will help to improve the park for Fitchburg residents as well as attract a large number of visitors from all over the state to this great city.
FHS Free Rice
This Venture Teams initiative is to raise world hunger awareness and support a non-profit organization Free Rice, whose goals are to end world hunger through donation of rice and provide free education to all. Through an educational online gaming, Free Rice provides students the opportunity to learn online in various subject matters such as English, Humanities, Math, Science, Language, SAT Prep, Chemistry and Geography. For each question, students answer correct 10 grains of rice is donated to the World Food Programme to help end world hunger. Imagine while students improve their vocabulary and/or studying for the SAT’s rice is going to those who need it most in less developed countries.
This Venture will spread awareness of the problems that children are facing in places like Haiti, and inspire them to help in little ways or big ways. Hoping to help children all over the world, Helping Hands is partnering with an organization called UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). This Venture plans to hold annual fundraisers and donate the proceeds to UNICEF.
Double Dutch Initiative
This Venture team members from Fitchburg High School teach Double Dutch Jump Roping to elementary and middle schools students in the Fitchburg public school system. Through this Venture many skills are taught; good health, physical fitness, teamwork, leadership, and resilience. The jump-rope teachers also serve as mentors and tutors in which they look out for the well-being and growth of the kids.
Fitchburg Finches Quidditch
This Venture would like to start a “Muggle Quidditch” sports team in order to motivate their peers to keep active while having fun. Muggle Quidditch is a game that has been described as “a combination of dodgeball and basketball.” The Fitchburg Finches became inspired after discovering the game of Quidditch in the Harry Potter series.
This Youth Venture team would like to expand the learning possibilities within Fitchburg High School, providing a language and cultural experience that isn’t widely recognized but loved by many in the FHS community—the Korean language and culture. Kim Chi Love will offer FHS students, and its members, the opportunity to learn Korean, providing FREE language lessons, and plan to entertain with modern Korean movies, dramas, and music.
Stand Up (UNICEF)
After Lead Venturer, Ludmy Elianor, spent a portion of her summer vacation volunteering with a local church group, she discovered her desire to help the children of Haiti. She saw, firsthand, how children and families lived in this part of Haiti—everyday—without adequate amounts of food, water, or shelter. Ultimately, she decided that she wanted to do something to help, and in this process, she learned of the organization, UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Soon after, a Youth Venture was born, and Ludmy recruited students from the Multicultural Club at Fitchburg High School to form a Venture Team. Stand Up plans to hold annual fundraisers including a UNICEF Walk (where over $300 was raised at their first annual walk at FHS this Spring, 2011) as well as sell t-shirts and wristbands, donating 50-75% of their proceeds to UNICEF.
Fitchburg High School Rachel’s Challenge
This group of students, who were extremely affected by the violence in Fitchburg, brought an anti-violence assembly to the school this year called Rachel’s Challenge. They also created a club that promotes anti-violence by creating community within FHS. After the assembly, students pledged anti-violence, by signing a Rachel’s Challenge banner and the Team recruited more students for their Venture and club that complements their mission.
This group of students stemming from the IT Class, which specializes in woodwork, have started their own business by selling items such as pens, chairs, necklaces, and playhouses around Fitchburg and Leominster. Students advertised on FATV, print flyers and even held an exhibit at the Mall at Whitney Field. Their hope is to build more school pride and provide youth with a positive outlet outside of school.
We’ve Got You Covered
This Venture was started by two students on the Fitchburg Softball team, and who participate in the Fitchburg High School National Honor Society and Fitchburg Girl Scouts. To help their community they are building covers for the dugouts in the school’s baseball and softball field as well as handing out scholarships to girls who wish to play in the Fitchburg Lassie League but cannot afford it. This Venture has effectively involved both the Fitchburg High School Softball and Baseball teams, as well as community partners who helped them build the dugouts.
In an attempt to keep kids off the streets after school, this venture targets students who might have to do community service and create bridges between the young Fitchburg population, and the elderly population.
Red Raider Rock Band
This venture hopes to give students an activity after school in an attempt to keep them out of trouble by means of music. This venture was created specifically because due to budget cuts the Fitchburg High School cut funding for their Jazz Band.
S.T.A.G.E.S. was created by a group of Fitchburg High students who want to share their love of theater with a middle school that has lost its theater program due to budget cuts. They will teach singing, dance, improvisation, directing, set design, and lighting in hopes of inspiring a younger generation who may not otherwise be exposed to the theater.
This team plans to pair high school students with senior citizens to provide the two generations the chance to share hobbies, interests and stories. The students will do service for assisted living and nursing facilities in hopes of providing local seniors in these facilities with some additional happiness. The venture hopes to have a constant supply of volunteers as this would also serve as a community service opportunity for community members.
Riverfront Revival of the Arts
In an effort to bring back the arts to the city of Fitchburg, this venture team created the First Annual Riverfront Revival of the Arts to be held at Riverfront Park on June 30th. The team will hold an annual outdoor community art exhibit featuring photography, paintings, sculpture, crafts, floral arrangements, local music, and food. The Fitchburg High School Jazz Band will be among the musical talents. Submissions for the exhibit extend to young people and adults within the community, and prizes will be given to each category winner. The event will be one of Fitchburg’s Civic Days and will be held during the weekend of the famous Fitchburg Longsjo Bike Race.
From Crocker to Crocker
This venture team is holding an after-school track program for fourth graders at Crocker Elementary. They will teach the students with basic track and field skills and will give them a safe, positive, recreational environment in which to learn and be active. At the end of the year, the team will host a track meet on May 30th for the youngsters, where they will be given trophies and awards.