Last weekend my youth group did the 30 Hour Famine. As expected the not eating part was difficult for some but this was made up for by an all-night event that was a lot of fun. But the point of this short post is that I learned a valuable lesson through this event - do not underestimate students!
Way back when we started talking up the 30 Hour Famine I set our group fundraising goal at $750 believing that this was an achievable goal for us. As soon as this goal was announced one of my students stated that it was too low and that we should be aiming for $1000. To be honest I wasn't so sure of her confidence. I had this voice in the back of my head saying that the fundraising goal needed to be lower and that if we set it too high that we would be setting ourselves up for failure. So I ignored her.
Three weeks before our famine event our progress didn't look good and I was sure that we had failed. After weeks of informing our students about the plight of exploited children it appeared as thought only one student was really trying to raise funds. After a few phone calls I concluded that we would be fortunate to reach $500 and that $750 was definitely out of reach.
It is now 5 days after our famine event. Physically I have almost recovered but emotionally I am still in awe. This group of students that I expected so little from came through and raised over $1400 to help exploited children! As I reflect, I realize that I had fallen victim to a mindset that many have - one that expects little from our teens. This stands as a reminder to me that our students are capable of much more that we often are willing to given them credit for and they will often surprise us at the amazing things that they do.