Mundelein High School’s Honors English 4 classes completed the inaugural Charity Outreach Project, with seniors Josmar Osorio and Mariana Valencia winning with their presentation supporting the Northern Illinois Food Bank.
After several weeks of preparation and nearly $700 in donations, the Northern Illinois Food Bank will receive all proceeds made in Osorio and Valencia’s name. The winning presentation was determined by a panel of administrators, faculty, and community members.
“Their argument highlighted the great service the food bank provides for our very own neighbors here in Mundelein. I was so impressed that after their presentation I went on to the website and donated to the food bank,” said Diane Covert, English Department Chair and judge for the project.
The project included students from all Honors English 4 classes. As a cumulation of a semester spent analyzing argument and persuasion, groups in each class researched charitable organizations, interviewed people associated or impacted by the work the charities do, and prepared arguments persuading their audience to support their selected organization.
It was competition-based, beginning at individual classroom levels. After the groups presented to their peers, each class voted for one to represent the class in the final presentations. In addition to Osorio and Valencia, the final presenters included Morgan Drover, Julia Muench, Caitlyn Eckstrom, Gabby Ney, Chris Martin, Reece Cruz, Carter Laureys, Tori Weaver, and Emily Weiss.
“I am proud to have won this for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. With every donation that goes towards this charity, the more help that goes towards our neighbors, friends, and family,” said Osorio. “I am happy to have been able to represent the Northern Illinois Food Bank. They deserve all the recognition for helping our local community,” added Valencia.
It was also a chance for students to present to an authentic audience. Senior Isabella Rodriguez was grateful to have an opportunity to publicly speak in front of an audience. “It really showed that your choice of words can affect someone's views on something,” she said.
Honors English 4 Teacher Mark Landuyt heard about a similar project on social media from a fellow teacher from Bartlett High School. He said the project “seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn about the important work so many organizations do for our communities and for students to see their role in that work.”
When asked what they will take away from this project, senior Mila Photopoulos wrote, “It is easy to lose sight of how other people live, and I liked this project because it was a reminder of the different ways people are living.”