Adopt Don’t Shop at PPHS South Bend

Volunteer PPHS Student with Cats


Student fundraising and advocacy project inspires students to support local animal shelters. 


If you ask our students or coaches what their favorite part of the PPHS model is, you’re guaranteed to hear about “Passion Projects”. Passion projects are coach-created projects that focus around something they, and hopefully, their students, are passionate about. Every six weeks coaches pitch their project to their students and students elect which projects they would like to take based on their interests and skills they’d like to develop. 


Coach Amir Ragab was excited to pitch his project to students for the first project cycle at PPHS South Bend because it combines valuable career skills with something he, and many of his students, are passionate about - animal welfare and fundraising. 


The Adopt Don’t Shop project was designed by Coach Ragab as a way to not only provide the opportunity for students to learn about animal welfare but also to learn that they have a voice and can do something about wrongs they see in the world. As Ragab teaches his class, he is a firm believer that, “Change has to start somewhere.” He believes that by practicing empathy and doing acts of kindness for other living things, we can be the change we hope to see.  


The project is multi-faceted and nearly entirely student-led. While Ragab is eager to provide guidance and support for students they are the ones ultimately calling the shots. They’ll decide what animal shelter to support and how to best fundraise and raise awareness against animal cruelty and neglect. Throughout the project, students will hone important competency skills like professional communication and conducting research as well as gain professional experience in real-world fundraising and advocacy work. 


For his students, this project is an exciting opportunity to take action to support something they are passionate about. For PPHS South Bend student, Melissa Hernandez, this project was the perfect introduction to what PPHS is all about. As someone who is an animal lover and current animal rescue volunteer at All 4 Animals, this project was an opportunity to not only make a difference but to gain confidence and share her expertise with classmates. 


Volunteering and advocacy work doesn’t just help those in need, Hernandez also discovered that she was creating rewarding experiences for herself as well, “I’m usually very shy, but working to help animals really helped me mentally and gives me confidence.” Hernandez is excited to keep learning about advocacy work and fundraising throughout this cycle. While she has lots of experience directly caring for animals, the opportunity to do some of the important behind-the-scenes work with Coach Ragab has been really rewarding. 


Hernandez shares, “This project has a lot of benefits in addition to doing good work, we’re gaining professional skills like doing quality research and creating a fundraiser.” While the projects are a fun way to learn and gain real-life experience, Hernandez says that’s not the only thing that makes PPHS South Bend a great school, “I’ve only been here for a short time and I’ve fallen in love with it and never felt better about my education,” she says “the coaches really make it a special experience. Coach Ragab is so friendly, he gives great feedback and is all-around really caring.” 


Not only are we looking forward to seeing the progress of the PPHS South Bend Adopt Don’t Shop fundraiser, but we’re also eagerly anticipating a campus visit from several adoptable puppies from local animal shelters as a way to thank our students and team for their support! Stay tuned to our social media for updates and details on the Adopt Don’t Shop project and fundraiser. 



Published on 8/18/2021