Involved for Change

Cathy Bonner from Annette Strauss Institute on Vimeo.

Read the transcript

Read the transcript

Pre-viewing (30-35 minutes)

  1. At the beginning of the class, ask students to share what raising awareness means, as well as, what it involves.
  2. Break the class into three groups (according to the number of readings) and give each group their copies of ONE of the following articles:
  • One Hollywood Producer Has High Hopes His Films Will Change the World
  • Musicians as Philanthropists
  • Eva Longoria and the Padres Contra El Cancer Organization
    1. Have each group read their article and discuss its main points, including the project, the business or celebrity who is associate with the project, and the reasons (if offered) why the founder decided to get involved.
    2. Ask each group to report on the main points of the article to the entire class. Make notes on the board regarding the details of each project.
    3. Move to an entire class discussion about the similarities and difference among the articles. Consider the following questions:
  • Why do people decide to use their celebrity or power to raise money and/or awareness about a particular cause?
  • Is celebrity enough to raise awareness about public issues?
  • What does it take to raise awareness about an issue?
  • What makes people move from being aware to being active?
  • How might young people raise awareness and take action about local issues?

Viewing & Discussion (20 minutes)

  1. As a class, watch one of the following American Trustees videos: Cathy Bonner, Barney Flores, or Barbara Brown (each of whom has made a significant contribution to their local community).
  2. As students watch the video, ask them to consider how trustees make an impact on their local communities, which issues they found interesting, and how they can choose to address it.
  3. Brainstorm a list of local issues, concerns, and/or problems, as well as, service projects that exist to address them.
  4. Guide the discussion towards the search for local heroes serving their communities. This might be as simple as finding a person that has started a local business that serves a particular community need, or a person who has found a way to create a safe space for young people to grow and thrive in an after school program. One place to start is to look at local chapters of the United Way, the Red Cross, the Heart Association, or Girl/Boy Scouts. Talking to family members, teachers, or business leaders might also lead students to a local hero.
  5. Break the class into small groups of 3-4 and let them pick a local hero from the list. Instruct the groups about the next stage: preparing a report on local heroes and their work in the community. Brainstorm ways to approach the person, such as telephone, email, or letters, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
  6. Allow the groups to work on the list of 5-6 important questions to ask their local hero. Instruct the students to make their questions open ended. Share the questions with the entire class.

Application (35-45 minutes)

If recorders are available, have the students set up an interview with their local heroes. They can then share their findings with the rest of the class. If recorders are not available, students can take notes on the interview and use this material for a class presentation.

NOTE: Remind the students that they should ask for permission from the interviewee to share the information with the class for educational purposes. In case permission is not granted, students should rely on their notes.


Student may be assessed on:

  1. Conducting an interview
  2. Presentation skills
  3. Research skills