What Drives Mission Drive?


Megan Munce

Juniors Kaitlin Rooney and Gabrielle Smullen sell bread for Mission Drive in the morning.

Megan Munce, Assistant Online Editor

The second week back from President’s Week break might bring back reminders of the calculus test we pushed into the corner of our mind or the looming CRP proposal due, but it also carries a subtle tide of joy: Mission Drive.

Each year, Pres girls pull out all the stops selling bread, baking cookies, and holding raffles to raise money to send back to the Presentation sisters in Guatemala and Nicaragua, not for spirit points, but out of the kindness of their own hearts (and their craving for baked goods).

This year’s goal of $20 per girl, or ~$16,000 overall, aims to level up with the bar set by last year’s fundraising, which collected over $16,500 to send to the Presentation Sisters working in Nicaragua and Guatemala.

One fundraiser that reached new heights last year was the sophomore’s Sophy Shoreline event, in which people paid $1 to get a strip of tape to tape social studies teacher Sarah Thomas to the wall of the center. After 40 minutes of nervous taping and testing, Thomas was able to step off the stool and hang from the wall of the center from over 60 pieces of tape. As she says, “I’ll do anything for charity.”

Keeping up with the trend of a sophomore-wide event is this year’s Mission Mercado: a collection of carnival games, homemade snacks, and creative crafts like handmade scrunchies. “We wanted to make an event that was different than a typical bake sale but that people would want to come to,” says sophomore class officer Briana Gallo, whose homeroom is planning to make Cream-esque cookie ice cream sandwiches for the event.

Looking back, senior class officer Andrea Nguyen says she would have never known that Sophcella, the sophomore’s revolutionary music festival-themed event two years ago, would inspire such a trend. “We never thought Sophcella would become a recurring event,” she says. “I’m kinda proud that the class of 2017 has left a mark on the future classes for Mission Drive endeavors.”

Another returning favorite is Ms. Dang’s annual bread sales, which brought in $200 in sales on its first day alone this year and accounts for about ¼ of the junior class’s total donations.

Junior Abby Steffens says she was intimidated to take on the task of the annual Mission Drive bread sales at first, but eventually learned to love it. “Now that we’ve been doing it, it’s really fun and I like selling people the bread. I especially like the chocolate croissants because they sell for the most money and I like to eat the chocolate in them.”

Meanwhile, senior Talla Khelghati said her homeroom is taking advantage of the fact that they won’t need all of their Pres gear for much longer. “We are selling Preswear we don’t use frequently or that we don’t think we’re going to need,” she says. Her senior homeroom hopes to raise funds by selling uniform approved clothes for $5-$10 to the underclassmen who will need it for the next couple of years.

Individual students are also stepping up their game for this year’s Mission Drive. Senior Kaitlynn Sierra had stickers left over from a Graphic Design project and decided to use her schoolwork for good. Sierra started with selling stickers featuring a graduation hat and the words “Panthers Out” and has recently expanded her designs to include one that reads “Love is Love” inspired by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony acceptance speech and one with the lyrics to the song “Hold Us Together.”

Senior Emma Fontana also had the idea to use what she learned in art class for good. Inspired by her Design class, she began making shrinky dink pins and keychains to sell for $2 – $3 each to benefit Mission Drive. “I really love art and drawing and making things I can share. As senioritis kicked in, art took up most of my time so I figured it would be more productive to put it towards a good cause!” she says.

Just like every year, Mission Drive donations from all these fundraisers will go towards assisting the Presentation sisters in Guatemala and Nicaragua, however, this year, CI made the decision to switch up the usual process of asking everyone for general donations and instead assigned each class its own special allocation.

Ms. Catalan says, “We learned about the specific needs in Nicaragua and thought it would be more effective to divide up these needs among the class levels. We are very goal-oriented here at Presentation, so what better way to reach these goals, than by working together as class levels?”

The freshmen contribution goes towards buying shoes for students in Nicaragua and the sophomores are specifically helping rebuild and buy equipment for two elementary schools. Meanwhile, the juniors and seniors are both fundraising for scholarships to the two schools in Nicaragua and Guatemala that Mission Drive benefits. $202 will pay for one student to attend SIL, a low-income school, and $342 allows one student to attend IBRA, a rural school, for one year.

However, behind all the fun lunch events and the daily donation totals, the heart of Mission Drive–to share the gift of education with those who would otherwise not be able to achieve it–rings true.

“We hope that each person will not only see numbers, but see the names, and realize that there are stories behind each person we have been impacted by,” says Ms. Catalan. Truthfully, the people are what drives Mission Drive.