Although many will look back on the challenges of 2020, Ontario Christian High School Spanish Teacher Megan Mendoza recalls the year as one of great purpose and intention. Part of this was due to a fulfilling mission trip to Nicaragua with her high school students. However, Mrs. Mendoza spent a good portion of the year on a rewarding Social Innovation challenge with World Vision.
The World Vision Social Innovation challenge allowed students to learn about a specific challenge in a third-world country and provided resources to help them create an organized plan that would solve the problem in a culturally relevant and sustainable way.
After creating a business plan, they pitched it to a panel of judges. These judges were professionals who work in that country and run businesses that accomplish similar goals to those presented.
“Overall, this project provided excellent life skills training and an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a broken world.” – Mrs. Megan Mendoza, High School Teacher
Social Innovation was a voluntary project presented to students Mrs. Mendoza thought would be interested. Our Knights formed two teams and spent several months designing a program to help children and teens find an alternative to drug use. One group came up with an extra-curricular program that offered medical training, art education, and sports, which are only available to the wealthiest kids in the country. The other team came up with a program that would use the arts to teach young people how to create a business; additionally, they would also learn marketing skills and computer skills.
Once plans were submitted, both of OC’s teams were selected to go to the final round. We attended a pitch competition where the students formally presented their projects. The group formed by class of 2021 seniors Alexis Barraza, Emma Kirstenpfad, Gillian Miranda, and freshman Marian Mendoza nearly claimed victory as the judge who lived in the third-world country believed it would be most successful.
Since completing this challenge, OCHS has partnered with World Vision. Through our Christian Leadership class, students have the opportunity to create solutions to local problems they identify here in Southern California.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity for our students as they grow in their awareness of how God wants to use them in the world around them.” – Mrs. Megan Mendoza, High School Teacher