Lone Star College-Tomball’s student organization Students Together Achieving Radiant Success (STARS) has been announced as a grand prize winner in advocacy organization ONE.org’s Campus Challenge Season 7.
Along with the other five grand prize winners, which included student groups from Carthage College, University of Iowa, State University of New York-Oswego, University of Texas-El Paso, and University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, LSC-Tomball will be invited to send a representative to Washington, D.C. to serve on ONE’s Student Advisory Board and help shape ONE’s vision for the following school year.
ONE’s international mission is to encourage people everywhere to take action toward ending extreme poverty and preventable diseases such as the spread of HIV/AIDS. In the ONE Campus Challenge, college groups earn points by writing letters, tweeting, conducting in-person awareness meetings, and organizing petition deliveries, all in the name of raising awareness of the plight of those living in poverty.
LSC-Tomball STARS wrote letters during the fall and spring semesters to state and national politicians encouraging them to support pending legislation that would allocate a portion of the national budget to aid for sub-Saharan Africa. They also organized pizza days and movie viewings to encourage their fellow students to write letters and view informational videos. “ONE is an extremely well-run organization,” said Sharon Alewine, STARS staff advisor. “This is an incredible opportunity for any of our students interested in humanitarian issues to participate in actual change at both the local and the national level.”
The group has not yet decided which of its members it will send to Washington this summer. There is an application process by which others may be accepted to serve on the national advisory board and Sharon is encouraging all of the STARS members to apply. The group is already looking forward to next year’s challenge during which they plan to invite politicians to campus to discuss these issues with students as well as to encourage faculty members to incorporate awareness of ONE’s mission into their classroom teaching. “Some of these students have never travelled far from home,” Sharon said. “This experience opens their eyes to the greater world and we are excited to bring that vision to more students. This year we were second place in terms of points earned. Next year, we’d love to be first!”