If you had the opportunity to invest in a non-profit, which would you choose? For students in Ms. Healy’s Contemporary Ethics Class, that’s exactly what they want you to do!
The study of Social Contract Theory in this class culminated in a shark tank style project where students created NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to answer a societal need.
Social contract theory is the view that one’s moral and other obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement between people to form the society in which they live. As the students looked at classic stories like The Tale of the Stairs by Hristo Smirnenski and primary documents like the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the discussion turned to those who are often left behind in society, despite social contracts.
Working in small groups, students formed NGOs to solve an inequity they see in society. They identified the problem they wanted to solve, figured out how to form a nonprofit by researching the laws and what they needed to do to establish one, established a wished-for board of directors, identified how to secure funding, and figured out a delivery model for their service.
Student presentations took the form of Public Service Announcements which were presented to classmates and members of the faculty. In shark tank fashion, students had to pitch their ideas and request funding from the faculty posing as potential investors.
The NGOs that were formed were:
An Opportunity for All
An organization formed by Thea G. ‘24, Addie M. ‘22, Kylie M. ‘22, Sydney W. ‘22 to help immigrants to the United States navigate the complexities of finding housing, jobs, and educational opportunities.
Fight For Fairness
A non-profit formed by Arielle C. ‘21, Adriana K. ‘21, Paige P. ‘21, and Taylor S. ‘24 to raise awareness about inclusivity and justice in schools.
A non-profit partnering foster children in Massachusetts with mentors who will introduce them to sports. This group was formed by Norah C. ‘21, Tess G. ‘21, Cat M. ‘21, Allison R. ‘21.
A non-profit working to end food insecurity. This group was formed by Skylar D. ‘21, Abby P. ‘21, Zoe R. ‘22, Margo T. ‘22
As you can see, this wasn’t just another school assignment. Students aren’t just observing real-world issues. They’re looking to tackle them. What sets Penguin Hall students apart is that they don’t sit complicitly watching the world and it’s issues go by. They take action. From organizing marches, spreading awareness about global warming with an art gallery, and to caring for their community by cleaning up litter, our students not only want to see change–they want to be the change.
I now turn to you, investors! Which non-profit would you select?