COLONIE The World of Difference club at Shaker High School strives to live up to its name.
“I think it gives students a sense of responsibility, a sense of empathy to really know what’s going on throughout the world and kind of give the best within themselves to accomplish good things,” said Daniel Weaver, social studies teacher and club advisor.
When Weaver started the club 12 years ago, he never imagined what it would grow into.
“I wanted to have my students have the opportunity to make a difference in their community at school. … It’s grown a great deal,” said Weaver. “We’ve been involved with our annual Veteran’s Day celebration, that’s our core event in the fall, and it has grown to include other outreach programs such as humanitarian efforts, community organizations like Make a Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House.”
The club’s latest effort was a major undertaking and stretched far beyond the high school hallways. “Give Change, Make Change” collected money to support two organizations in Uganda and Haiti.
“It’s been really successful. I haven’t come up with a total dollar amount yet as to how much we raised … but I know there’s a lot more coming in and we’ll still accept donations,” said Weaver, who said students had a fundraising goal of $5,000.
Brian Hickey, a senior, broached the idea of collecting change for Engeye Scholars, an educational initiative attached to the Engeye Health Clinic that helps children attend school in rural Uganda.
“We gained a lot of supporters that wanted to help. … We’ve really had a bunch of different classes from all different grade levels come support. It’s empowering to see that support and I was really excited because I know that money will go directly to helping those kids in Uganda,” said Hickey.
Hickey isn’t just passionate about making a difference in Uganda from afar. He has a personal connection with the country that was forged through a powerful experience.