Animal Blankets - Kylie and Nadia noticed that their local animal shelters were constantly posting ads that stressed a need for bedding. Youth participating in Animal Blankets plan to leave large bins all over their school and community and make posters that ask for blanket donations. The blankets will be brought to a number of animal shelters throughout Ayer and Shirley, giving the animals-in-need a comfortable environment until they are adopted into their forever homes.
Animal People - Animal People noticed that the Fitchburg Animal Shelter was severely lacking in cleaning supplies, proper bedding, food and housing for the high number of dogs that are surrendered to the facility each year. To help the shelter, these students aim to raise money through school supplies sales (pencils, pens, erasers, and more) and will donate their proceeds to provide all of these necessities to a canine in need.
Brown Bag Friday - Brown Bag Friday was inspired by another Venture team in Leominster that served elementary school students bagged lunches on the weekend, so the team decided to create a bagged lunch project of their own. The team plans to keep the identity of their recipients anonymous if possible while still being able to provide meals to students whose families are struggling with providing adequate food for the weekend. They plan to sell bracelets to fundraise and seek sponsorship from local food banks and grocers. Eventually, the team would like to expand their efforts to not just bagged lunches, but also backpacks, school supplies and clothing.
Cancer Helping Hands - Noelle and Collin both know family and friends that have been affected in some way by cancer. In light of these experiences, they created Cancer Helping Hands so they may make a difference to fellow community members whose families and friends have either become a victim or a survivor of the disease. The team would like to raise awareness of all types of cancer, and raise money toward a number of cancer research organizations.
Green Recycling Team - Members of Green Recycling recognize that being green isn’t always easy. To make cleaner living more accessible to fellow students, the team would first like to further their school’s recycling initiatives by purchasing large recycling bins. Furthermore, they would also like to extend their green services toward cleaning up local parks and roads, and eventually initiate a large highway cleanup initiative.
Heart Strong - After a student’s mother witnessed a patient die in a hospital from a chest injury due to having no access to defibrillators at the time of the injury, Heart Strong decided their community needs better access to these life-saving devices. Through bake sales, car washes, and other school-related fundraising activities, the team would like to raise money to purchase defibrillators for all the local schools and sporting areas. In addition to this, they hope to hold classes that teach people how to use the defibrillators so they may save lives in the future.
Live to Help - Brianna and Noelle were particularly touched after watching a film in social studies class about African citizens being held in refugee war camps. Putting their crafting skills to good use, Live To Help will be making upcycled bags out of old denim and other materials and sell them, with proceeds going toward these African refugee camps.
Pretee’s Plants - Pretee noticed that at her school there were a number of plants in the library and classrooms that were not getting watered as frequently as they should. Taking it upon herself to beautify her space, she decided to start a plant-watering project with proper watering cans to ensure each plant is healthy and thriving. In addition to watering, Pretee hopes to raise money to add more plants, shrubs and flowers to the school as a long-term beautifying project.
Quacker Arts - Tired of the “conventional” duct tape creations? Quacker Arts has taken duct tape to a whole new level! Zebra print, hounds-tooth, camouflage and glow-in-the-dark – there are no limits to the colors and designs this team comes up with on a daily basis. Quacker Arts makes wallets, bracelets, and other neon knick-knacks and sells them at school functions and during lunch, with proceeds going towards purchasing cows for families in Africa.
RC Cars - As a radio control car enthusiast, Austin wanted to use his passion to help his fellow students in a new and innovative way. Austin came up with the idea to create an RC car club, initially aimed specifically for students with autism. By using RC cars, Austin knew from his own personal experience that it helped him improve his fine motor skills and also gain a better appreciation for the intricate workings of the vehicle. With this newly-found knowledge, Austin presented his idea to his class and cannot wait to use RC vehicles to promote turn-taking, sharing and fine motor skills. Austin’s club has piqued the interest of a local hobby shop, whose owners gladly plan to let the group use their RC vehicle race tracks, as well as provide free car rentals, discounts on parts, and more.
Save the Sea - After researching animals native to the Massachusetts Maritimes, members of Save the Sea felt it their duty to protect these special oceanic creatures. Through various types of school fundraisers, Save the Sea would like to raise money and give their proceeds to marine life conservation areas, specifically the National Marine Life Center, located in Bourne, MA. In addition to fundraising, Save the Sea plans to raise awareness of the effects of littering and pollution on marine life, and how every resident of Massachusetts can do their part to keep endangered marine wildlife from becoming extinct.
Shelter Helpers - Sterling Animal Shelter has been an invaluable resource for central Massachusetts residents; whether surrendering or adopting, visitors of the shelter know they can depend on the facility to take care of an animal in need. Shelter helpers learned that the Sterling Shelter was in need of any help they could get – from food donations to building extra kennels, they could use it all! In light of this information, Shelter Helpers is on its way toward raising money through a number of fundraisers so that they may assist this animal lover’s hub with getting all of their necessities.
Stuffed Pals - William noted that the last time he visited a hospital, he felt uneasy and homesick. With this mindset, he decided he wanted to create a team that could help other children feel more at home and comfortable in a hospital setting. To do this, Stuffed Pals will donate teddy bears to children’s wards at local hospitals for patients who may need that extra touch of tenderness. In addition to donating bears, William plans to sell other stuffed animals, with the proceeds going towards local hospitals.
The Castaways - The Castaways identified bullying as a problem across every clique and social circle in their school. Rather than remain silent, these three students have chosen to stand up to bullying and would like to adopt the anti-bullying techniques of Rachel’s Challenge, a Venture team launched at Leominster High School. In order to do this, they plan to provide workshops and presentations to educate their school not just about what bullying is, but how it directly affects their friends and what every member of their school can do to put an end to it.
Three-D Game Design - Andrew and Michael wanted to join an after-school club, but realized that there were not a lot of options beyond the usual sports. As two technology junkies, they choose to create their own club that would allow fellow computer and video game fans to have a place to go after school. In 3D Game Design, members have the ability to not just play video games, but create their own! With the help of Andrew and Michael, those involved will learn the step-by-step process of making a video game from scratch and, at the end of their second session, will be able to take their game and play it at home. Jesse Johnson, video game developer for the widely-acclaimed BioShock, served on 3D Game Design’s panel and was so inspired by their idea, he insisted on donating a second computer to their club to help further their success.
Yard Sale for Leukemia Research - The team members of Yard Sale for Leukemia Research have taken the concept of “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure” to a whole new level! After one of the member’s nephew passed away from leukemia, she decided to host a yard sale, with all proceeds going toward leukemia research. By donating unwanted items to the sale and purchasing new-found treasures, community members will help the team with making a difference in patients’ lives in the future.
Blue Crew 2 - The Venture Team Blue Crew 2 wants to “Light the World Up Blue” and raise awareness for children with Autism. By selling blue light bulbs, doing an annual raffle to a Blue Man Group show, and doing other blue related fundraisers, this team hopes to raise funds to donate to the HMEA organization whose mission is to promote the values, dreams and potential of people with developmental disabilities through education, support and life experiences.
Coding Club - Helping prepare for the digital future, The Coding Club plans to have an after school program which allows kids to learn basic computer coding and programming skills. Using their own expertise in technology, these students will teach both students and adults alike understand what goes into processing our day to day technology today. By teaching about coding, this team will help students learn how to find solutions for problems, build confidence to tackle future problems, teach creativity, and gain valuable skills that they can apply in any future career.
Cure for Crohn’s - With several family members and friends who have been affected by this disease, the members of Cure for Crohn’s wanted to make a difference and show their love for them by starting a Venture. The team is planning on hosting an annual “Color Run” to help spread awareness and communicate the need to help such a debilitating disease. They plan to donate all their proceeds to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) who mission is to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.
Helping Hands - After hearing stories about foster kids moving from home to home with all of their belongings stuffed into a single garbage bag, the Venturers of Helping Hands knew they had to do something to help. Their Venture, Helping Hands, has taken on the mission of working to ensure that these foster youth not only get real travel bags, but also some extra toys and games to help them get through the tough periods in life.
Hospital Magicians - Hospital Magicians want to bring the joy of magic to sick children in hospitals. They hope to bring laughter and wonder to kids who are vulnerable and scared and may be undergoing medical treatment. Giving them a magical experience will take their minds off their fears and – most important – help them feel empowered.
Living With The Ribbon - The members of Living with the Ribbon realize how financially difficult it can be for family members of cancer patients, having seen their own families go through the struggle. They hope to make life a little easier by donating gift cards and money to families in their community who are struggling in their day to day life.
M&M Up-Cycling - Using their passion to bring new life to used clothes, the girls from M & M’s Up-cycling plan on optimizing their skills to help the less fortunate living in North Central Massachusetts. Through donations of used clothes, they will “up-cycle” these items to make them look stylish and new and donate the clothes to various programs that help the underprivileged including Loaves and Fishes in Devens.
Special Needs Awareness - Motivated by a team member’s experience with a sibling with special needs, the members of the Venture Team, Special Needs Awareness, want to make sure that they can help as many kids with special needs as possible. They decided to support their mission by raising funds for the Paul Center, a camp out of Chelmsford which hosts camps and educational workshops for those with special needs and their families. The girls plan on raising money to help purchase items that are on The Paul Center’s wish list which will greatly benefit the experience of those who need the camp for support.
Special Olympics/Best Buddies - Inspired by their own family members with mental and physical illnesses, the members of the Special Olympics Best Buddies Venture Team felt compelled to start their own venture to help fellow students with these disabilities in their own school. They decided to support these students at ASRMS by raising awareness and getting volunteers from the student body to support programs like the Special Olympics and the Best Buddies program.
Talent Trackers - Each of the members of Talent Trackers are involved in different arts programs at their school. After seeing that their individual programs were in desperate need of support, they decided to join together and use their love for the arts to host an annual video contest to raise money to support each of these different programs.
Team M&M - Inspired by the work that the Relay for Life does each year, the Venture Team M&M decided to expand their Relay Team into the school. They plan on helping the American Cancer Society by not only walking in the Relay for Life in Gardner but by also selling homemade bracelets at this event, hosting a “Pink Out” dance and selling a “Pink” raffle basket at their school.
The Next Dimension - The Next Dimension would like to take their STEM department to the next level by purchasing a 3D printer. They believe that having a 3D printer will provide them with hands-on learning and will give them the skills and knowledge to use in real-world applications. The use for this printer is endless and will give them the opportunity to improve the competitiveness in their science and technology department.
The Wish Venture - Inspired by the many great stories of the “Make A Wish Foundation”, the girls of The Wish Venture wanted to get involved in a way that was unique to them. Realizing that their personal artistic talents in making jewelry and artistic portraits could be beneficial to this cause, the Team decided to sell their artwork within the community to raise funds for the “Make A Wish Foundation”. It is their hope that their work will be able to eventually raise enough to support one of the wishes of these kids solely through their own efforts.
Socks for Life - Inspired by their fellow classmate who has Down Syndrome, the girls of Socks for Life have decided to take action to raise money and awareness in the community for this disease. The Socks for Life Venture has decided to support this great cause by fundraising for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society, two nonprofits which work to advocate for those with Down Syndrome and provide resources for their advocates. The team will be raising money through the sale of rainbow colored socks and an annual spring egg hunt at Ayer Shirley Middle School.
Robotics and Programming Club - The students of the Robotics and Programming Club at Ayer Shirley Middle School realized that their passion for computers gave them a skill set that they could use to help their classmates and the community. These students have created an after school computer club in which they educate their peers not only on how a computer operates and how to build their very own computer, but also helps them learn various programming skills such as HTML and Java. They will also be looking to expand their program to create an education program for the adults in the community who do not have any of the skills which these students now learn in school.
Sew Much Hope - After one of their brothers was saved by the doctors and staff at Boston Children’s Hospital, the girls of Sew Much Hope decided they wanted to create a Venture which gives back to BCH and help many other families like their own. By using their passion and skills in sewing, these students are creating and selling sewn together accessories for their peer’s school supplies as well as working with local restaurants to raise money for the hospital. They hope that their fundraising efforts will not only help save more children’s lives, but that they will additionally raise awareness to the many diseases which are afflicting children today.
A Shoe For You - When one of their cousins came back from doing service work in Nicaragua, the girls of A Shoe For You learned that many of the families in Nicaragua cannot afford to pay for basic necessities including the clothing and shoes needed for kids to be able to go to school. Feeling that they needed to do something to help these children, the girls created this Venture Team to run regular clothing fundraisers to send to families in need and have already raised over two carloads of donations.
Lungs for Life - The siblings of previous Venturers, the members of Lungs for Life wanted to follow in their footsteps by creating their own Venture. By combining their passion for soccer with their personal connection to Lung Cancer affecting their loved ones, these students created Lungs for Life, a school soccer tournament to raise money for lung cancer research. Their tournament raised over $150 dollars, assisting many students at ASRMS to develop a better understanding of this issue while helping put an end to lung cancer once and for all.
St. Jude’s Heroes - Inspired by the many stories of children affected by cancer, the girls of St. Jude’s Heroes decided it was time to do take a stand to try and put an end to this issue. As each of these Venturers have family members who have been affected by cancer, this is a cause that is close to their hearts. Together, these Venturers will be holding fundraisers and school-wide events to help not only raise money for this cause, but make sure this issue was an important one for all ASRMS students.
Pokeminer Industries - As lifelong fans of anime, cartooning, and video games, the students of this Venture know that there are many students who don’t realize that the skills involved in these passions can be crucial to many future careers. Together, the boys of Pokeminer Industries have started their own graphic arts club at ASRMS where they can not only share their passion with others of the same mindset, but help teach their peers the skills it takes to become skilled in graphic arts. They hope to inspire others and give them an avenue to share their passions so that all of their peers may discover a similar passion.
Improving Grades and Fun (IGAF) - Hoping to motivate their peers to achieve more in the classroom, the students of Improving Grades and Fun have decided to create a new avenue of inspiration. Working with the school administration, these students want to create a greater celebration for honor roll and principal’s list recipients by providing them rewards beyond a simple certificate including a field day. It is their hope that with these extra incentives, more students will work harder in class thus improving their own lives, the lives of their teachers, and the standing of the whole school.
Page By Page - As constant visitors to the Shirley Public Library, the girls of Page by Page knew how important the library was to not just their own lives, but to the lives of the entire community. Seeing the impact the library has made, these girls have decided to help by bringing together the ASRMS community to make the library even better by collecting new books. They have decided to host regular book drives at the school so that the library can offer every resource possible to the community. If you have any new or gently used books, bring them on by!
Lend A Paw - The girls of Lend A Paw were saddened to see the struggles that local animals go through as they sit and wait in the local shelters for their forever homes. To help these animals, this Team has focused their efforts to help raise money for the Volunteer Humane Society Cat Shelter in Lancaster, MA to get the cats food, blankets, and needed medicine. If you would like to help these girls efforts, make sure to buy some of the glow in the dark key chains or organic pet treats they will be selling around Ayer and Shirley!
2016 – 2017
Sea Turtle Savers - Inspired by their life at the Fall Kick-Off and the words of Kyrah Altman telling them to make a difference, the girls of the Sea Turtle Savers decided it was time for them to take a stand. With their love of marine life, the girls have taken it upon themselves to find new and fun ways to support injured and lost turtles return to their environments and help to clean up polluted environments which are causing harm to the lives of turtles. They hope to engage their school and community to be more aware of how our daily actions impact the lives of turtles and take action to support their team’s efforts.