My Junior year, I started a project in my high school's student council called "Turkey Teacher". Although I was inspired by other ideas and activities, I believe that this was the first time a project like this was actually carried out and turned out as successful as it did. The reason I wanted to create the project was to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation, which gives extremely ill children a chance to live their most desirable dreams. I think it is important for children to have a memorable childhood, with other experiences besides receiving treatments in hospitals.
The concept of the project was to select 10-12 of the “popular” teachers who would want to participate and help raise money for the cause. During the week before the Thanksgiving holidays, I placed large, colorful paper turkeys on each of the selected teachers’ classroom doors. I also made cans with the teachers’ faces on the front and set them up at a table during lunch. Throughout the week, students were able to purchase feathers during their lunchtime for 50 cents to place on their favorite teacher’s door. There was also the option of taking feathers off of a turkey for a dollar. To prevent “cheating” and stealing of feathers, there were charts detailing how much each teacher has raised and how many feathers they were supposed to have on their turkey. Teachers were asked to encourage their students to buy feathers for their turkeys, because the teacher with the most feathers by the end of the week would win a “Grand Prize” (a large turkey from the grocery store).
Initially I had only planned on raising a couple hundred dollars, as I did not anticipate the enthusiasm and aggression of the teachers. From the get-go, teachers would stand in front of their classrooms between passing periods and would scream and holler for donations. By the end of the week I had raised $2,900.00.
This year, as senior class secretary, I felt that I had to out-do myself and raise more than I did previously. I selected a few of last year’s top teachers as well as new teachers I felt would really do well in the competition. The cause this year was for Radio Lollipop, which helps improve the lives of children patients at the Texas Children’s Hospital. This organization was also the state project for the Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC). The outcome was phenomenal, and I raised an amazing $6,700.00. The first place teacher alone raised over two thousand dollars. I ended up raising the most money in the entire state and was recognized at the State Convention in Arlington, Texas this past May.
Although I am finished with high school, I passed all my information down to the next graduating class to continue the project and hopefully raise even more money in the following years. Turkey Teacher has become an annual event that both teachers and students look forward to. It helps boost school spirit as well as raises money for a good cause. The project is one of my greatest accomplishments that I take much pride in and hope that others will be inspired to do the same.