What good are pennies in the hands of children?

In late March, Zippel Elementary students did something amazing.  They turned pennies into change, not pocket change, real honest to goodness change.

This is a pretty nifty video detailing the event: Zippel Event

The staff at Zippel organized a penny war, the 5th grade students in ZAC (Zippel Activity Club) ran it, and classes competed for the ultimate prize: duct taping principal Chris Hallett to the wall.Principal

Who in elementary school didn’t dream of doing this? Even to a cool principal like Mr. Hallett? The 5th grade teachers worked very hard to make this happen, to encourage and even instigate a bit, supporting the rivalry and helping kids see that they can take action and make a difference, a huge difference. AAI (with the help of Mrs. Elaine Hendrickson) presented lessons to the whole 5th grade class, had them watch the Kid President, and asked them to think about what they could do in their communities to serve.

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative knows that kids can make a difference, we are honestly betting on it.  The students in our schools today are the future leaders of tomorrow, not just in the Country or our State, but in our County.  We are all too quick to dismiss what these kids can really do, what they can accomplish with the right motivation.  ZAC  showed us all again why we need to invest in our kids…they aren’t just the future, they are our future.  These 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students raised over $1,000 in a week’s time.  That’s what they can do, they really can move mountains.

We believe in the power of youth, in the promise of passion, and in the ability to make change.  It’s why we award Gauvin Scholars.  It isn’t about the scholarship, it isn’t about AAI or even what we offer, it is about the kids we offer it to.  It’s about these faces:

It's all about the Scholars

It’s all about the Scholars

It’s about the faces that will follow them in May.  Giving the opportunity to achieve greatness is what AAI is all about.  Investing in the spark of our future, our Gauvin Scholars, is the most important work we do.  Connecting these Scholars with Aroostook and engaging them in the work and events of their communities is vital for our  future.  They are the future, and they will lead the way.

We are quick to dismiss youth, think it impulsive, impractical, inexperienced, but perhaps all of those qualities are the reason youth can make such a massive difference in this world.  The experienced life knows the burden of success, understands the overwhelming odds, and moves with the chaos, but often doesn’t try to resist it; youth does.  All of that energy, that positive, amazing energy is the reason one person can and does make a difference every single day.  One part of the world is still changing the world, just perhaps on a different timeline.

Here’s the clincher, we want to help more students be the difference they want to see in the world.  Gauvin Scholars are incredible young Aroostook County leaders.  They receive mentoring, support, events, and tons of networking, it’s all part of the Gauvin Scholar package. They engage in communities, in their colleges and universities, with their families, and with our organization.  They are making their own stories…wanna be a part of that? Donate today.  We know there are tons of people asking for money.  We know it is hard to choose where that hard earned cash goes, invest it in the future, the future of our children; the future of our communities, the future of our businesses; invest it in our future.  Visit www.gauvinfund.org, learn why we do what we do.  We. Need. You.  and so do they:


Kids can make a difference — ZAC made a difference for AAI!