Students launch community-building helping hand technology

Riverside Girls High students from the Helping Hands project Marcelle Hakikat, Neda Pourali, Kelsey Feng and Ava Daltrey join City Of Ryde Clr Penny Pedersen, School Principal Belinda Kelly, Kayleigh Rumbelow from Youth Change Agents and Wee Waa High School students Bryony Allen, Sarah Hamilton, Amelia Kiem and Trekiah Cochrane at Riverside Girls High School. TWT on-the-spot PHOTO

FOUR Riverside Girls High students have launched a project to encourage other students to spend less time on social media and more time helping the community.

Students Marcelle Hakikat, Neda Pourali, Kelsey Feng and Ava Daltrey launced the Helping Hand App at the school last Friday as part of the Young Change Agents program.

Their research reveals that students spend up to nine hours a day on social media with an average of six hours per day.

They hope the Helping Hands App – to be promoted through The Weekly Times, when built – will attract sponsors as well as non-profit community organisations who need student volunteers.

Their research also shows that community organisations rarely advertise for volunteers and the project aims to encourage them to seek enthusiastic stiudents.

They aim to raise around $3,000 to launch the project and have already received enthusiastic support from visiting students from Wee Waa High School.

Participants in the Helping Hands initiative will receive merit badges.

Riverview School Principal Belinda Kelly praised all student groups who took part in the Young Change Agents program.

“This is a cross-curriculum program that encompasses elements of commerce, English, maths, drama, computers and art and includes a showcase of the enterprise projects,” she said.

“Students took this opportunity to validate their ideas on how might we make a positive difference and we are delighted to involve Wee Waa in the program.”

Belinda said Riverside Girls High aims to teach students about community responsibility and enterprise.

“Students will, through a journey of exploration, increase their awareness of problems and opportunities available in their communities.

“They learn social entrepreneurship and start-up skills through activities about social enterprise, problem solving through new ideas, customer empathy mapping, market research and budgeting.

“Through Friday’s initiative they will gain a better understanding of leadership, increased self confidence, improved communication skills, improved goal setting strategies and a better use of time management strategies.”