“I think we have the best students in the district. We are really proud of the kids and what they do, and I’m very proud of them.”
Students from the Translation Academy at Morris Innovative High School won the 2019 Live to Give Video Challenge.
Last summer, Paige Watts, MIHS teacher, selected Evelyn Zuniga, Leydi Ballesteros and Jose Reynoso to attend the Ultimate Life Summit, a Seven Mindsets leadership conference in Orlando. Seven Mindsets is a social-emotional learning program designed to improve student resilience and behavior.
One of the Seven Mindsets is called "Live to Give". Students are taught that in order to receive good things in life, they have to be willing to give back and maximize their positive impact on their community and the world.
According to the Seven Mindsets website, the Live to Give mindset teaches that, "the greatest gift you can ever give is finding and leveraging your unique genius to maximize your positive impact on the world, knowing that good things will be returned to you in kind."
Evelyn Zunig said after attending the conference she was inspired to find ways to give back in small ways every day.
"When I'm going to do something now, I like to think about the mindsets, does it go with them, or contradict them," Zunig said. "And when we give something, we don't expect anything in return."
The group decided to focus their project on appreciating police officers and firefighters in their community.
"We knew how much the cops and the fire department are sometimes underappreciated," Zunig said.
They asked teachers and students at MIHS to contribute baked goods like cupcakes or brownies. Then, they distributed the treats to Dalton's police officers and fire department. Jose Reynoso used pictures and videos to create a video showcasing this project. The video then went on to win the 2019 Live to Give Challenge.
Scott Shickler, CEO and Co-Creator of the Seven Mindsets sent an email congratulating the five winning teams from all over the world.
"All five of these projects were outstanding and you should all be very proud of what you accomplished," Shickler said. "You managed to combine your passions with a sincere desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others... and you did it!"
Paige Watts said she is extremely proud of these three students.
"I think we have the best students in the district," Watts said. "We are really proud of the kids and what they do, and I'm very proud of them."