Level up

Students game for a good cause

Ashley Littlepage and Alyena Gilani

Editor’s note: this story won first place for online multimedia packages in the ILPC contest. 

Over 60 students attended a video game night at the freshman campus to support disadvantaged kids in Africa. The event raised around $600. The students competed against each other in games such as “Mario Kart”, “Just Dance” and “Rocket League”. Winners were chosen for each game through a bracket-style competition.

All proceeds from the event were donated to Nyaka, a nonprofit charity that provides children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Uganda the opportunity to get an education.

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri organized Nyaka out of his confidence in the power of education to help children become successful.

“What I knew for sure was that education opened doors for me,” Kaguri said. “In a way I wanted to be selfish and give children what I got. I couldn’t guess whether this would work or not. That’s why I specifically focused on education.”

Frequently, children in these communities have to walk many miles to school with no food or water along the way. Nyaka works to provide clean water systems, food, clinics and libraries at schools. Additionally, they are currently supporting 10,000 grandmothers who are housing 60,000 orphaned children.

Maya Hernandez
Junior Coy Goodgion plays in “Rocket League” against other competitors during the fundraiser. “Rocket League” is a vechicular soccer video game in which the player controls a car trying to score goals.

Kaguri was invited to speak at the school by Golf Coach Kerry Gabel after Gabel was introduced to him over the summer. Gabel was inspired by Kaguri’s cause and wanted to share that with his school’s community.

“Sometimes we forget what’s really going on in the world and this is an opportunity for students here at Marcus and our community to provide a large impact for kids,” Gabel said.

Humanities teachers Nikki Minich and Tracy Jennings were also inspired by Kaguri’s message, and hosted the event in hopes of attracting many students who were willing to donate while also having fun.

“It was so much fun. The kids had a great time and we raised money, which is the most important thing,” Minich said. “When it comes to the winners, I only recognized a few which is great cause it means it was a far reaching fundraiser.”

Kaguri wants to encourage students to believe in their own ability to impact the world. He recalls his childhood, when his parents would split one pencil between him and his four siblings to use at school.

“You don’t realize that the power to change the world is within you,” Kaguri said. “If I can come from a fifth of a pencil and touch 60,000 lives now, imagine what a Marcus student can do.”