A few weeks ago, a large group of Millikan students and faculty met at the beach early on a Saturday morning, with some very large goals. They were there to participate in the 18th annual Beach Walk, a 5k walk down the Shoreline bike path to help raise money for the Miller Children’s Clinic at Memorial Hospital. Set to celebrate its 70th anniversary next Spring, the Clinic is a low-cost/no-cost health care resource for children and families living below the poverty line. On the Beach Walk website, the listed goal for the Millikan group was to raise $20,000, a staggering amount given the state of the economy, and given that the Rams family had 15 participating students raise $700 only a few years ago. At the end of the day, though, over 1,000 participants in the Millikan group raised a total of $31,000. Let those numbers sink in for a second.
Mary Massich, a history teacher at Millikan, helped to organize the event. She also teaches a Sociology/Current Issues class, a capstone course for seniors in Millikan’s COMPASS program. “My seniors take in a lot of problems in that class, and it was good for them to be able to get out and do something. It’s an authentic learning experience for them, and it helps them to know they’re making a positive difference, and not just learning about what’s wrong.” It was those seniors who did the leg work behind Millikan’s amazing numbers. They went classroom to classroom, telling their fellow students about the event, and why they should participate. You might think it would be hard to convince high school kids to give up time and money, as well as sleep early on a Saturday morning. Judging from the number of people that showed up, they must have done a pretty great job.
That a group of high school students could mobilize and become such a positive force in their community is a sign of the changing times, as youth are becoming more active and involved in charities across the city. And while no other school had nearly the presence that Millikan’s bright gold shirts did at the Beach Walk, they did see promise in another group. “Jordan High had people there for the first time,” Massich said. “And I think we kind of recognized us from a few years ago in them.”
An achievement this monumental deserves a curtain call, so if you were involved in the planning, or walking, or if you donated money, go ahead and leave a comment below with your name on it so our readers can recognize you for your accomplishment!