Students at Summit High School in Williamson County got a nice surprise Monday morning, an envelope of cash.
A program called “Live a Better Story” choose Summit as its first public school for the social experiment to encourage students to make change.
The money, $750 in total, was donated by the Spring Hill-Thompson's Station Rotary Club.
“What they [rotary members] realize is their investment will be multiplied and will be invested back into the community to individuals and non-profits,”explained club member Max Strange.
At Monday's assembly, around 50 students were handed envelopes with information, suggestions and a crisp $5 bill.
There are no rules but Strange told the students they are not to simply return the $5 to the school.
“This is one of their first experiences where they're saying, it's your life, it's your money you see the issues of your community, go make a difference,” he explained.
Junior Madison Blackstock helped launch “Interact Club,” which is Rotary's service club for young people.
“I think it will be life-changing, because there's so many things they can affect. A lot of teenagers seem to focus on what they don't have and I think this experience will start to make people realize how special and lucky they are to be where they are,” she said.
Strange and Blackstock both acknowledge some students may spend the money on themselves rather than on a cause.
“Even if a few people take advantage of it, it will be worth it. We might have one or three mess up, but I think we'll have tons and tons of great stories.”
Strange added, “There are those that the spirit of this they don't get, but it's so much worth it for the 98% who are going to do great things than the 2% who may take advantage of this situation,” he said. “They need permission and they need an inciting incident. What we did today was we gave them permission to go make a difference in the community.”
He continued, “This is really creating a benevolent purpose in lives and I think that's wonderful, that kids in high school are learning that through their giving their making a difference in the community.”
On October 19, students will gather for an assembly where they will share their stories of what they did with their $5.
Brentwood High School has also been asked to be a part of a future program.