Six seniors from the Broadneck High School class of 2019 gathered at the Philip Merrill Environmental Center on June 18 to present the Chesapeake Bay Foundation with a $6,000 donation. Students presented the check to Chesapeake Bay Foundation president William Baker.
After paying for prom, the class had a surplus they wanted to donate. Instead of a traditional senior class gift that buys something for the school, the class voted from a list of options and decided to donate the funds to CBF.
“We were talking about how a lot of people in our class are really focused on making a difference. For a lot of us, that starts with focusing on the environment,” said Shanley Honarvar, the student government association liaison. “We came up with the idea to donate the money here to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation because we could make an impact by helping the environment, but also give back to our community because growing up on the Broadneck Peninsula, we see the incredible impact that you have.”
At BHS, the signature program is environmental literacy.
“A lot of us are involved in helping the environment, and it’s something we’re really passionate about,” said Kajal Patel, who is the treasurer for the senior class.
Broadneck has a long history with CBF, whether it’s providing opportunities or sharing resources, according to Megan Fink, the Maryland student leadership coordinator for CBF. Broadneck was one of CBF’s first Student Leadership Affiliates, which is a program that empowers students across the state to have field experience and be advocates.
“[These opportunities] really help them narrow the field. There’s so many different ways to get involved in the environmental movement,” Fink said. “It’s about kids identifying their strengths, really getting comfortable in their skills, and then figuring out how they want to help and advocate because there’s a lot of different ways to do that.”
Currently, The Orokawa Foundation is matching donations to CBF, increasing the value of Broadneck’s donation. The donation will help fund the educational programs at CBF, according to Baker.