My heart was pounding. My research paper was close to me, covered in sweat from my hand. My pictures, ideas, and costs were neatly stacked in a folder. My little poster said, "Reuse Everything Cool, You Can Live Empowered!" My mind raced as I walked into the door. I needed my stamp of approval.
"Oh! Neat! What a great idea!" That's the exact words I had been getting from my peers, teachers, and parents. The principal was excited for the outcome but, had no idea how to help.
As you may know from previous articles, I'm a "green freak". I'm obsessed with changing the world and making the environment squeaky clean. My current project, however, is much harder. I'm turning my school "green".
Although I'm waiting to finish my project right now, I would love to let you know how to follow in my footsteps. Got an idea? If you do, you can make it happen. (Make sure it's realistic though, no tap dancing leprechauns in the gym!) My idea was recycling, but you don't have to do that.
First step is doing your research. Make a plan and write it all out. Get pictures, explanations, and all the information you need. Make up questions in your head and answer them. Prepare yourself for anything and everything.
Your next obstacle is talking to your parents, friends, and teachers. Tell them your idea and make sure they are supportive. Ask them if you did this project, would they support you? Ask them questions, give them information, and tell them everything you know. Without a good support system, you can't go on.
Then, you go to the "higher power". Your principal or administrator is the real stamp of approval. Get your materials together and go see them. Just like your teachers, tell them everything you know and all your information. (I know my first paragraph made it sound scary, but it's not at all!) Keep in touch with them as well, you might have to see them later for updates.
Next, is funding. This biggest part. Who is going to pay for your idea or project? Your parents?
Are you going to have a fundraiser with a club? These are just some questions you will have to ask yourself. Go to area businesses, ask neighbors, and family if they can help you out. Organize a fundraiser at your school for your project. Tell everyone! Remember you need all the support you can get. And if it's free, you are lucky.
Lastly, go through with your idea! Make your project and make sure it is exactly how you wanted it. You have the materials, the support, the stamp of approval, and the money. Go, get, done!
Now some examples. I'll tell you exactly how I went about my project.
First, I searched online for some recycling bins and about how much it would cost. I made my poster and my questions that I had asked myself. I made two copies, one for myself and one for the principal. Fortunately, I got my stamp of approval right off the bat! This section of my project took about 3 days.
The following day I took my poster to school. I had it with me in class and showed my friends and teachers. They were all pumped about recycling and all told me, "If you get bins, we will all recycle!" I was so excited. This section was only a day long!
Funding, oh funding. Just because funding has "fun" it in, doesn't mean it is. Well for me it wasn't at all. I called the Recycling Center and asked them to make a route to our school. I got a yes. I called the Blah Blah Beautiful people next and asked them if I could get a state grant for my project. I got a yes on that as well. The problem with that is, I won't hear from them until December or so. So, it's really a maybe. How frustrating. Besides that, I'm really stoked that my idea is being looked at by the state! When does that ever happen?
After all my help, all I can say is good luck. If your project takes a week or a year, don't worry. You will better yourself, school, community, state, country, and so on. Did I mention you might get on the news? (My dream!) Pursue your ideas to the best of your ability. And of course, never give up.
I'm helping out. Are you?
Author's Note: If you have any other questions or suggestions on how to make your idea a reality, y-mail me or talk in the BBS. Did anyone notice my "Reuse Everything Cool, You Can Live Empowered!" section? If you take the first letter of each word, it spells recycle. Took me awhile to think it up, haha. I'll keep you updated on my project, too. If you are interested anyway, just tell me.