Many students scoffed when Mr. Doar introduced an eccentric project to his fall senior seminar; after all, a two-minute video about someone of personal significance who had been besieged by hardship seemed out of place among the sundry essays. However, Mr. Doar had not informed his students of his ultimate objective: a submission to the VING (stylized V!NG) project. Endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and funded by a Chicago-based family which prefers to remain anonymous, this philanthropic effort supplies $1000 to an adult in need.
Mr. Doar heard about the program through his brother, who works in the Windy City; when the latter asked his friends and relatives to promote VING across America, Mr. Doar obliged. Beginning in fall 2015, his classes have produced at least three winners annually, and this year was no different. Grant Gibson ‘18, Jovan Jones ‘18, Brad Litchfield ‘18, William McCormack ‘18, Dunny Smith ‘18, and Noah Traylor ‘18 were each able to award $1000 to someone they care about. Beyond the hefty cash allocation, each student in the class was able to connect with a person for whom $1000 could become life-changing. Occasionally, Belmont Hill can act as a bubble, insulating its pupils from real-world epidemics; however, this project enabled students to experience a taste of an alternative reality.
Mr. Doar plans to push for VING across the English department, and more teachers will adopt this assignment in the years ahead. Even without the classroom component, nearly anyone at Belmont Hill is permitted to send in a video. The parameters are as follows: the nominator must be between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, and the recipient must be an adult. If you want to be more involved in your own community or know a worthy nominee, check out vingproject.org for more information.