Mission Viejo High School

MV Thirst Project: A schoolwide effort to solve a worldwide problem

In cooperation with AP with WE — a program in partnership with College Board and WE — and nonprofit organization Thirst Project, students across campus at Mission Viejo High School work to make a positive impact on local communities and communities abroad.

Students from AP Human Geography, AP Environmental Science, and AP Spanish Language and Culture have come together to reach a common goal: raise $15,000 dollars to fund a well in El Salvador.

The money fundraised will go toward Thirst Project, a nonprofit organization that has provided 280,000 people with safe, clean water by building wells in many rural areas around the world. Project Thirst began in 2008 by seven 19 years olds who learned about the global water crisis and were determined to fix it.

To reach as many people as possible, Thirst Project teamed up with the AP with We program to help hundreds of schools across the United States to reach their goals.  

With the help of Project Thirst, students at Mission Viejo High School chose three main fundraising events: A Thirst for Change Festival open to the Mission Viejo Community, restaurant and local business partnerships, and online fundraising.

Lead by senior Christina Boyd and a group of other AP Spanish Students, the project took over a month to organize and an overwhelming amount of planning to make happen.

With organizing such a large project, Boyd said there were some hurdles.

“We had lots of communication issues… so it was difficult, but definitely rewarding at the end. Everyone pulled together at some point and we made it happen,” Boyd said.

Prior to the festival, the students were divided into groups including students from all the different classes involved and took on specific roles in fundraising. Some groups set up a Go Fund Me page (link found @mvthirstproejct Instagram bio), while others advertised the festival by creating flyers or asking local businesses for donations for the festival.

The Thirst for Change Festival included live music, various game booths, face painting and henna stations, a bake sale, Seth’s Succulent booth, food trucks, a petting zoo, and food bank and money donations that go toward local food banks and the MV Thirst Project.

Open to the local community and MVHS students, the festival attracted people of all ages and raised a total of about $1,400 to fund the well in El Salvador.

Although it did not reach the goal of $2,000, the event was a success due to the amazing organization of the event in such a short period of time and the enjoyment shared by those who attended the festival.

Boyd reinforced this success stating,

“The festival itself brought a lot of attention to what we are doing, so hands down it totally helped our cause along.”

The festival also included raffles from several sponsors such as In-N-Out, Oakley, Chick-Fil-A, Ocean Institutes, Raising Canes, Thinque Prep, Peet’s Coffee, Tanaka Farms, and Pacific Marine Mammal Center, who donated various items or amounts of money in order to raise funds for Thirst Project. There was also an anonymous donor of $10,000, which greatly helped the project approach the $15,000 goal.  

Being the first year that MVHS participated in an AP with We fundraiser, the efforts of those involved and the outcome act as a guide for future years.

Boyd said she has felt this sense of joy in serving others.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity because it gives me a chance to work towards something so much greater than myself,” Boyd said.

Donations to Project Thirst are still accepted and encouraged, and we thank and greatly appreciate everyone who has donated or contributed their time to MV Thirst Project.

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