Emily Blevins, News Editor

As some people remember from the beginning of this 2016-2017 school year, our faculty and students were presented with the idea of becoming connected with a central-American place along with its people. Since then, this idea under the name of Impact2One, has expanded and grown tremendously with the hard work and effort from our leadership class, Mr. Bradford, Coach Slaughter, and several other staff members and students.

The idea for the Impact2One program began right around the start of this school year, in August of 2016. It was almost like Mr. Bradford, Coach Slaughter, and Coach Shurette all returned to HHS for a back-to-school meeting with very similar mindsets. Mr. Bradford had recently watched a documentary over the summer titled “Living on a Dollar a Day,” that featured a group of students, just a few years younger than those who attend Heritage, who chose to dig in and live like an average person would, in an extremely lower-class leveled country with only a dollar to spend each day. Along with this, both Shurette and Slaughter went on mission trips to other countries over the summer as well. As one can probably imagine, each of them were very inspired and they all sort of had the idea in the back of their minds to see what we could do regarding this idea and our school. The ball began to roll, research was done, and the city of Leon in Nicaragua was chosen. The idea was brought to the leadership class of HHS, and the students took it to the next level. The initial thought was to simply make some sort of connection between our community and the Tomas Borge community in Leon. Our students came up with the additional suggestions to build the school and honor the late Katie Beth Carter in doing so. Essentially, the goal was and still is to make the connection between Heritage High School and Tomas Borge. Mr. Bradford summed this idea up well by simply stating that “We have resources and they have needs.”

Although this idea might seem simple or temporary, this is only the beginning. Impact2One is bringing an extreme amount of potential to strengthen the international relationship, encourage our school to learn more about the various topics like culture and poverty, and most importantly give our school an opportunity to help people who really need it. One of the more prominent goals is currently to get a group of people from Heritage to Nicaragua during our spring break. However, in the future, HHS is hoping to expand by taking up to three groups on this sort of trip throughout each school year. In my opinion, one of the coolest parts about this entire thing is how much of an influence the students here at Heritage could potentially have on Impact2One. You don’t have to be in a certain class to have the ability to help make the trips to Nicaragua happen, or even go on one of the trips yourself. The teachers and other faculty are opening the doors to this new beginning, but the students are the ones who are bringing it all to life. For example, if you are in FFA or a Health OC class, you could potentially take a group with you to Nicaragua and go to simply learn more about their community in relation to the group that you went with. A group with FFA could learn more about the agricultural practices in Leon while a group with Health OC could go to share some of the medical practices that we have here in our community. As mentioned before, the doors are being opened and it is now up to the students to look into how we can make a connection. As the Impact2One mission statement states: “Through a lifetime partnership, the people of Heritage High School and Tomas Borge will love, provide for, and inspire each other to impact the world for good … one person at a time.”