Students at Rio are often involved with outreach programs, bringing new projects to the community, but it’s rarer to see students who put their talent to use to improve Rio itself. Brenna Intemann-Milligan is a Junior who has started a fundraiser to bring Challenge Day to Rio.
Challenge Day is an international program that can be found in schools across the country; it is a large organization whose workshops have been described as emotional experience that has positively affected involved students.
“Challenge Day is a program that raises awareness about bullying, the things all students have in common and the struggles we all face.” said Brenna.
She described her personal experience with Challenge Day as well. “The program changed both my outlook on my school and the way I interact with my peers at school and away from school. So as my senior project, I’m raising money to bring Challenge Day back to my high school, in the hope that it can have the same effect on other students that it had on me.” said Brenna.
In her quest to bring this program to Rio, she has been spending lots of personal time to spreading the word and getting connected with sponsors. In addition to being on the Water Polo team and Mock Trial, she has been promoting the program herself through flyers and word-of-mouth. She has run fundraisers on campus for the project since December, selling See’s Candies to raise money for her project.
“It’s impossible to bring Challenge Day to the school without the proper financial support. We’re also looking for community partners–businesses who will help with fundraisers, or even donate food for the day of the event.” she said.
She plans to continue fundraising throughout the year, getting parents and other adults involved.
“In the spring I’ll be holding a ‘Wine and Art’ fundraiser for parents, and any other adults, where we’ll be auctioning off art to raise money. Additionally, I’ll be asking local community organizations for donations, so if you or family members are involved in any groups that might be interested in donating that’d be super helpful.” said Brenna.
She believes that Challenge Day, which has been featured on Oprah as a way of “breaking down barriers,” will be a transformative experience for participants.
“The idea with Challenge Day is to spark a realization of what students have in common, with their peers, other adults and teachers. Hopefully this realization will have an impact on how they treat everyone around them–from other students, to teachers or even their family members,” said Brenna.