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“What can we do to help the people in Texas?”

That’s the question that Jamie Robinson, a leadership teacher at Monterey Trail High School, wrote on the chalkboard after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston.

“After hearing about all the damage, I thought about what we could do as a school, but I wanted my students to take action—instead of adults,” Robinson said.

During the 90-minute class period, Robinson’s students hatched plans for a two-week fundraising drive, Hearts 4 Houston. They knew it would be difficult to get food, clothing and supplies to Houston, so they decided to collect money instead. To gather funds, they placed 130 cardboard boxes throughout the campus with the slogan, “Every cent counts.” Houston Food Bank was picked as the recipient of the funds.

Robinson’s 65 leadership students carried boxes around campus, encouraging their peers to donate. After two weeks, the school raised $1,300. It was the most money the school has ever raised for a campaign.

“As a leadership teacher, my message has always been: service above self,” Robinson says. “The campaign was the perfect opportunity to teach my kids and the whole school community that serving others is ultimately more rewarding than serving yourself.“

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