Panthers Of ISKL #49 - Amelie T., Valeria FVP., and Gabi W - The Cookie Crusaders
This week we meet up with Grade 11 students Amelie T., Valeria FVP., and Gabi W. - the trio behind the CAS initiative and fundraiser, 'Sweets for Charity'!
During the Controlled Movement Conditional Order (CMCO) last December, the three students joined forces by raising funds amounting to over RM 10,000 by baking and selling cookies to the ISKL community with funds used to purchase items for the Chin Student Organisation, a refugee school located in Cheras.
Here are their stories.
Can you tell us more about what made you decide to organize the 'Sweets for Charity' CAS initiative?
Valeria: I first thought of this project during the CMCO, and I wanted to include my experience and love for baking with my friends, Amelie and Gabi. I had lots of recipes that I could manipulate to create different types of cookies.
During the CMCO, all three of us wanted to use our baking skills to create a project where we could sell the cookies and use the money to donate to several charities around Kuala Lumpur. We also wanted to do this project because it was difficult to do many things that made us happy. However, cookies always brought us happiness, and we wanted to spread happiness to the people who bought our cookies, hoping it would bring them joy.
Amelie: When Valeria asked me to collaborate with her to create a bake-sale fundraiser for the Chin refugee students in Malaysia, I was entirely on board! Not only did I get to continue developing my skills baking cookies, but I was also doing it to help other kids access resources while in the pandemic. By knowing that by dedicating some time to measuring and mixing ingredients, I could contribute to Chin refugees' online education, I was determined to get as involved as possible.
We got together and baked goods every Friday, ensuring that we were doing so in a safe, distanced manner, and delivered them to other members of the community who supported our project and bought our cookies for this cause.
Gabi: We decided to organize our baking fundraiser to help out the Chin Refugees and spread some holiday smiles by baking to sell delicious cookies for our community - using the money raised to help the Chin Refugees!
Tell us what you accomplished. Did you reach your goal?
Amelie: Overall, we were able to go above and beyond the goal we initially set for ourselves. In the beginning, with the list of supplies and materials, we wanted to purchase for the Chin Students Organization, my teammates and I set the goal of RM4,000 to raise. In the end, we sold 1005 cookies and earned over RM10,000!
Valeria: We chose the Chin Student Organization as the donee because they help educate refugees to eventually head to university and get a job support their families. We bought ten speakers, ten headphones, a notice board, ten boxes of A4 paper, a water dispenser, and 28 boxes - each box containing 12 whiteboard markers. We also received a used computer from one of the customers and donated it to the organization to use as was needed. After buying all the materials, we still had around RM5,000 left, and we are currently looking at different clubs that ISKL works with to give the money to and which we know will be used fairly.
Gabi: When we first started this project, I didn't even consider that we could make as much of an impact as we had. The ISKL community and others that we know were beyond happy to help, and the support that we got during this project was amazing!
What do you think you will learn out of this? How does it feel to do a good act such as this?
Amelie: With this initiative, I learned the power of community. As we emphasized the cause that the cookies were going for, we realized that many individuals and families were willing to help contribute and purchase cookies.
I genuinely believe that without the support of the ISKL students and parents, we would not have raised as much as we did. We heard some parents pitch in extra than the amount they were supposed to pay, which made me feel glad to be a part of such a positive school community!
At the end of our fundraiser, we talked to one of the Chin Student Organisation staff members, who explained where the money raised was to go. As I heard his enthusiasm about his students' online education, I couldn't help but feel excited and proud. We never thought that our small fundraiser would have such an enormous impact on the Chin students!
Valeria: Throughout this project, I learned a lot about what truly matters and taking up opportunities that we may not have in the future.
After buying all the materials and donating the rest of the money to organizations, I started feeling grateful for all the things I have taken for granted. It made me think about the things ISKL offers us, such as the sports we do, the class subjects we have, and having an international experience. Having the ability to do a good act where you know you made a positive difference in someone's academic life brings lots of joy and inspiration for what to do next.
Gabi: This was an insanely fantastic opportunity, and I am beyond thrilled to have participated in this project! It helped me reach out to my community during a pretty difficult year and time, as we were all under lockdown. As cheesy as it sounds, the greatest joys often come from acts of aid. Seeing how happy we made the refugees made all the busy hours so worth it.
What does "Be All You Are" mean to you?
Amelie: For me, it means recognizing the importance of inclusivity and the recognition of the value each of us has in society. More often than not, as young people, we are expected to live up to expectations and standards set out for us by our peers, our family, and society in general. However, by "being all I am" in ISKL, I feel accepted for my quirks and unique experiences. Though I may have many shortcomings, this phrase reminds me that even my flaws are a part of my identity and should be accepted and embraced as a part of who I am today.
Valeria: I think that this phrase of "Be All You Are" has a different meaning for every individual who comes across it. We are always surrounded by social media and influencers that we want to act and look like in our daily lives. Being who you are is a constant reminder that you shouldn't have to change yourself to make yourself look better or meet someone's standards to be part of their group - stay true to yourself. Be All You Are is a constant reminder that being yourself is the only thing that matters.
People worldwide and international communities should understand that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. They have their personalities and are not willing to change for others to fit in. Be All You Are is something that we all have to follow in our daily lives as we might forget about it when it's crucial, so we don't act like someone else. I am always happy in being myself and not changing for others or allowing others to change me, but instead being who I am.
Gabi: To me, "Be All You Are" is something that I've grown up with, as long as I've attended ISKL. In the beginning, it just seemed like another part of ISKL, but really, it is ISKL.
The entire ISKL community is the same community that was so ready to help us make a difference. It is about embracing and celebrating your differences, accepting others and ourselves. It's about the joys of being unique.
Do you know a student, faculty, staff, or alumni with a story to tell? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org!