TOM: More than an event


TOM leaders gather on the stairs in front of the Theater before the TOM 2023 closing ceremony.

Waking at 5:30am every morning for three consecutive days is exhausting and takes all your energy. Nevertheless, you shower and put the black TOM t-shirt on prepared to make an impact. Work for a real change. Once you arrive, all you see are smiles and motivation which dramatically change your attitude. TOM is more than an event. There is no way of describing that wonderful emotion of giving a solution to those Need Knowers. Their smiles, tears, and endless joy are more than enough for all those sacrifices you have done. The passion students have developed for changing the world is represented by those hundreds of smiles you see as you come into the coliseum. 

During TOM 2023, over 200 students had a direct role in the event’s logistics and almost all students in the school visited the event as well. This connection with all the school generated a sense of belonging and connection between the event and the entire community surrounding TCS. TOM has connected with most students as it is a multidisciplinary school activity that enhances all kinds of learning and skills. The event requires all kinds of skills such as technology, marketing, communications, video-editing, strength and interior design.

“I feel that TOM is a wonderful initiative that connects students, parents, staff, teachers and even people from outside the school. As a High School parent, I had never felt so motivated to support my son than with TOM,” Maria Adelaida Escobar, HS Parent, said. 

TOM has also become a part of students’ identity due to its expansion and growth throughout the last six years, and students have noticed its impact. TOM 2023 involved students from all ages, most evidently at the center of the coliseum. Students from Grade 3 to Grade 7 made up the Makers of TOMorrow, an event that encouraged students to take the same path as the High School Makers from TOM. 

“I have been part of TOM since Grade 7 and I have seen firsthand the way anyone can get involved and help people. It’s amazing how much you can do,” Emiliana Gómez, Grade 11, said. 

The solutions created in Makers of TOMorrow serve as ideas that will lead the future generation into using technology and feeling passionate about it, especially when it focused on changing and transforming our world. Extending this event to take place throughout the entire school is a way to bring together the TCS community and empower students of all ages to put their skills to use and help those in need. 

“Kids from MS and HS work together to make this event possible uniting both schools and connecting people. All of us would be involved working towards a goal and helping a common cause,” Alina Restrepo, Grade 8, said.

For years, TOM’s expansion has been a dream for many young students that wish to explore their creativity and problem-solving skills. This is also a great opportunity for students to go out of their comfort zone and learn about inclusiveness, respect, and acceptance.

“I have seen myself since I was in fourth grade participating in this event and it’s finally an honor to be part of it and start getting into this world of helping other people and connecting with the school community,” Restrepo said.

Students used a variety of technical materials and tools commonly used by the robotics team, yet, not by the classes in the curriculum established in the school. They mainly highlighted the chance of having fun while learning. Elementary students experienced the event firsthand for the first time, as these kinds of workshops had never been implemented. 

“My experience was excellent because I could really understand what we were doing, I had never done something like this,” Martin Trujillo, Grade 4, said.

TOM is focused on well-being as a whole, both from the Need Knowers and the Makers and volunteers. The feeling people get once they have noticed the effect they have generated in their Need Knowers and their families has no way of explaining it. 

“I have been participating in TOM for many years because I really feel passionate about what we are doing here. It’s very satisfying when I can use my skills to help others,” Pablo Franco, Grade 11, said.