On Friday, April 6, 43 students participated in Pace’s second annual Sleep Out for youth homelessness. Partnering with the Covenant House, a homeless shelter that helps teens, Pace students raised awareness of youth homelessness in Atlanta. Over three thousand teens in Atlanta sleep on the street every night, and many of those kids have faced trauma in their lives. Covenant House inspires their youth to continue high school, work hard, go to college and live on their own. The shelter aims to give kids the love and support that they often haven’t had throughout their childhood
A total of 42 students slept out at the Covenant House for Pace’s first Sleep Out in 2017. Their fundraising paid off, as Pace raised a total of $23,000 for the cause. This year, the student committee set the goal of raising $15,000, and so far they have raised $14,398. The group worked hard to raise 716 of those dollars at school, with fundraisers like the dunk tank on April 5. Students in all grades paid to get a chance to try to dunk their teachers throughout the day.
Senior Sam Delman was a member of the student committee for the event, along with juniors Alexandra Baker and Caroline Singleton, and sophomores Ryan Kann and Jason Rosenbloum. The goal of the committee was not only to raise money, but also to raise awareness of youth homelessness. “I hope that the Pace community has gained a better understanding not only of what being homeless truly is and how it affects youth in Atlanta, but also what the Covenant House does and how it makes a huge impact,” said Singleton.
When the students arrived at the Covenant House, they participated in several activities before they settled in to sleep outside. They had dinner, heard personal stories from the homeless youth who stay at Covenant House, toured the campus and played team bonding games. In addition, the group listened to Pace Director of Athletics Troy Baker, who shared his own life story. “I had two favorite parts,” said Singleton. “The first was listening to the stories of actual youth who are staying in the Covenant House and the second was playing the team bonding games.”
The students are hopeful that the sleep out and partnership with the Covenant House will become an annual tradition at Pace for many years. “I hope that Pace continues to grow its relationship with the Covenant House and that the students continue to show interest and dedication to the cause for years to come,” said Singleton.