Not Only for TCS but for the World

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Not Only for TCS but for the World

GIN is a group based on helping society in all the possible ways, having this group at TCS is something we need to value.

GIN is a group based on helping society in all the possible ways, having this group at TCS is something we need to value.

Catalina Velez

GIN is a group based on helping society in all the possible ways, having this group at TCS is something we need to value.

Catalina Velez

Catalina Velez

GIN is a group based on helping society in all the possible ways, having this group at TCS is something we need to value.

Catalina Velez Correa, The Discoverer staff writer

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Every Tuesday after the bell rings, GIN members stay at school. They meet up and work on their innovative projects, hoping they can someday be implemented and make a change. Students bounce ideas off of each other and organize their next move, they’re focused on the task at hand until it’s time for them to go home. They’ll be back next week though, because their passion for helping their community drives them back together every time.

This year’s 2018 GIN has gotten more serious than ever before, requiring application to get in. This ensures people who are a part GIN actually want to be there. Hopefully, this decision will draw in members who are looking forward to success and progress.


GIN’s Goals

GIN stands for Global Issues Network. It is a student group that focuses on solving environmental and social problems, but, more importantly, one that believes all of problems have a solution if approached correctly.

“To be sustainable is not only working on the environmental problems in which people try to reduce their plastic usage or their energy consumption or any other product they use a lot that could harm a lot the environment, but also helping society improve their habits based on their culture,” Maria Cuartas, 11th grade student and GIN member, said.

Above all, what GIN has aimed to do with their campaigns and programs is to educate people about existing issues, since the only way of resolving deep rooted problems is impacting the mindset of the community itself.

“Our main goal is having people aware of what is happening,” Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 11th grade student and GIN member, said.

The group has already impacted the school with changes such as the water bottle filling stations, the wood coffee mixers, the greenhouse, and reduced plastic usage in the school overall.


GIN Members Doing More than Expected

Their success, however, hasn’t been free, behind it is hours of diligent work and effort. This is understandable, for the changes they’re attempting to make require lots of time to plan out and even more to implement.

“I spend approximately three to four hours working in GIN because I stay after school every Tuesday for an hour and fifteen minutes, and I also have to work on my project outside of school,” Cuartas said.

“Every time that we go to a conference we prepare after school,” Britta McCarthy, one of GIN’s teacher leaders, said.

The GIN team also makes sure to follow their own lessons on a more eco-friendly lifestyle. By changing their habits themselves, they give their ideas more credibility, since they’re proving anyone can help some way.

“I make a lot of choices about how I spend my money and how I consume because of the carbon footprint we generate is from things we buy,” McCarthy, said.

Not only this, but GIN member unconsciuosly work on GIN every minute of their life by helping the environment. Small-scale changes can lead to great results.

“When am traveling I’ll buy carbon offsets because I think the biggest part of my carbon footprint is traveling,” McCarthy said.

GIN members change their personal live to apply the solutions they find to the problems, meaning they stop using certain things at their house, or taking showers of less time ect. It not only them, but everybody can do ti, this is why they encourage people to do this to.

“The main focus is that as much as I love GIN students are powered by it,” McCarthy said.


Expanding GIN’s Influence

GIN programs are becoming increasingly popular in schools and communities for the positive influence they have. Everyone involved hopes it continues to grow because if more people adopt GIN-like thinking, then more advancements can be made.

“I work in GIN internationally, so I make a curriculum for people that are going to start working on a GIN project and for schools that don’t know what GIN is,” McCarthy said. “I help students from other countries around the world to become GIN leaders and start certain projects at their own schools,” she added.

GIN not only works at solving local problems, it also works on encouraging other schools to start their own program, and inspires students to lead their own initiatives. This is a vital part of GIN since long-lasting impacts can only be achieved if others join.


What’s Next?

“Now we’re looking for accreditation by eco-schools in the USA. Their job is to give a certificate to the school so we’re officially recognized as a green school,” Cuartas said.

An award could help motivate more people to join the cause, and reassure its current members that the time and effort they’re putting in is not in vain.

“GIN has three awards in total: the silver, the bronze, and the green flag award. Our school has the silver one. We are working on the bronze and hopefully will have the green flag award in the future,” Cuartas said.