“We were told to make a 60 second video on Instagram about how words have impacted us either positively or negatively.”
Shenel Morrissette and Madison Topley have had the difficult decision of which local charity to donate their winnings to after their kindness-themed video got recognition by Sasktel.
The grade 10 students have won a $5,000 grant from Sasktel for their efforts and are still entered in a school challenge with fellow students for a $200 prize all in the name of kindness.
Shenel and Madison will share $2500 and Sasktel allows them to choose the charity to benefit from the remainder of their grant. Madison explains how the funds will be divvied up.
“The Sasktel initiative, they let us choose what charities we wanted to give it to. So a quarter goes to me and a quarter goes to Shenel. And then we are splitting the charity money into two. So we are giving a quarter to the local SPCA and then we are going to give a quarter of it to the Ronald McDonald Homes in Saskatoon.”
The young video producers choose the SPCA as they know the local need for donations and for Shenel, the choice of the Ronald McDonald Home has significance for her family.
Shenel and Madison explain that they are also entered in an internal contest promoting kindness at the high school and have been chosen to do a couple speaking engagements at elementary schools.
“We went to the youth centre and we did two or three days of training. We learnt about this whole program and all the different topics we are going to discuss with the children. And everything that we learned within two days, we are going to tell the kids in an hour. And we play some games with them. Overall sharing with them a message of spreading kindness and trying to promote that in elementary schools.”
School counsellor Melissa Plamondon further developed that the school challenge came about from an initial grant from Beyond Borders Circle of Change to come up with kindness strategies. Concurrent with this was the video submission for the Sasktel Be Kind Challenge.
Plamondon says they won the challenge on Pink Shirt Day and the school community is proud of their achievement.
“We think the video is a true depiction of who they are. They are both genuinely creative and kind young people and we are really happy to see that be acknowledged. They are also members of our KIP team, our Kindness Is Power team. So they will be going out with 17 other team members, this month and next month to deliver bullying prevention workshops with our grade five classes throughout the city.”
Students at Holy Rosary will be voting to decide from the various entries who will win the internal contest.
Residents can view the students’ video by using this link.