The Britannia Secondary school community is launching a massive fundraising campaign to support 18 vulnerable students to travel to Africa where they will climb Mount Kilimanjaro, visit the cradle of humanity at Olduvai Gorge and watch the Wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park on a trip of a lifetime.
The trip is scheduled to take place in March of 2015 and is estimated to cost $160,000.
"In this community, there is a perception that you should just focus on the basics," says Geoff Taylor, Britannia Secondary's Principal. "But what Street2Peak is about is allowing our kids to dream big like everyone else in the city. These are our champions and we are sending them up the mountain."
The students, many of whom are aboriginal, are in Grades 9 and 10. They all attend the Streetfront Alternative program, a unique VSB program designed for kids who have trouble in the mainstream school system. For many of the students, this trip will be the first time they've ever taken an airplane.
For Grade 10 student Alannah Wong, climbing one of the tallest peaks in the world is all about showing that Alternative kids are able to rise above any challenges life throws at them.
"I am really looking forward to it. I've never been someone who has been able to stand still for very long," she says. "We aren't going to let people stop us and say what we can and can't do. We aren't just doing this for us. We are giving other people hope so that they can see you can achieve greater things than you believe you can."
Taylor says the Street2Peak trip is probably one of the first trips of its kind planned in North America.
Streetfront teacher Trevor Stokes says his students are ready for the challenge. Due to Streetfront's focus on athletics, many of the students have run multiple marathons, both in Vancouver and Seattle. They also run long distance three or more times a week in addition to other outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking. Earlier this month the youth ran multiple long distance runs (completing the Sun Run and the BMO full marathon).
To learn more about Street2Peak or to support the initiative, click here.
Click here or below to watch a short video from the Street2Peak fundraising campaign launch or click here to read a great article in Metro Newspaper about the initiative.