Having trouble receiving FOX 17? Click here:

Grand Haven High School class teaches to ‘Pay It Forward’

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Grand Haven High School teacher Brian Williams has students excited for going to class and making an impact on the community.

Williams, known as B-Dubs to his students, is offering a Pay it Forward class for the fifth year. After learning about the various problems their community faces, students choose an issue they want to work on.

"I want to provide students an opportunity to see the world and make an impact beyond themselves,” Williams said. "We go out into the community and meet with several non-profits around the community on various topics, everything from advocacy issues to mental health issues."

The students spend the semester helping others.

"They develop an awareness project, a fundraising thing," Williams said, "but something where they are out in the community working actively with businesses and nonprofits to create something organic that wasn’t there before."

Past projects include raising awareness for human trafficking victims, giving money for family that need help, and, for senior Reilly Celestin, giving a free meal to the homeless.

"It does change you as a person," said Celestin. "It lets you see the world as how it is. You get to see how people can help the world, and I think that’s the best that you can do."

The lesson takes an incredible amount of work.

"It’s one of the tougher classes, if not the toughest class they’ll take in high school, not just because of academics, because it’s so real,” Williams said.

Williams hopes more schools will teach to pay it forward: "I feel like the class is so powerful, and there is such a need for this in our country, that I would hope that other schools would decide to adopt a similar program and allow their students to start challenging themselves in a real way outside of the classrooms."

If you want to help them pay it forward, contact Williams at williamsb@ghaps.org.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.