Our CAS Project: How we got funded to create care packages for the Phoenix Youth shelter

In our grade 11 year, we received $750 in funding to create care packages for the Phoneix Youth shelter. Here's how we did it.

What is a CAS Project?

If you're an IB student, these simple three letters probably made your heart beat a little faster. For those unfamiliar with CAS, it's a component of the IB Diploma program where students are required to engage in creativity, activitity, and service outcomes that supplement requirements for extracurriculars and electives. The CAS project, however, is your chance to go big, get some friends together, and gain some planning experience.

CAS can often be an annoying afterthought when you're trying to focus on your courses, but if done right, the CAS project can be a great asset to show off on your resume. For those of you who aren't in the IB Program, this article still has some valuable takeaways about organizing a community service project.

Our Project

We successfully received a $750 grant from the #RisingYouth foundation to create and distribute care packages to the Phoenix Youth shelter in Halifax. Supplies included: hygiene necessities, paper towel, laundry detergent, socks, and more!

How we did it?

  1. Drafted a budget for supplies that we would buy and applied for a grant through the #RisingYouth foundation. Though they aren't operating anymore, you may have some luck with their partner foundations listed in different regions across Canada. https://www.risingyouth.ca/partners
  2. Reached out to the Phoenix Youth shelter in Halifax, NS and scheduled a phone call to discuss our project idea with them. At this stage, we had completed the funding application for the #RisingYouth foundation but still hadn't heard back from them.
  3. Received the #RisingYouth grant (thankfully!) and spent a weekend going around to different department stores to buy the supplies needed to make the care packages.
  4. Packaged the supplies (in Basmah's basement) and loaded the trunk of the car with our newly formed care packages.
  5. Set up a date with the Phoenix Youth shelter to deliver the supplies.
  6. Wrote a report for the #RisingYouth foundation, where we shared information like receipts and total costs.

Takeaways and Our Advice

  1. Delegate your tasks!

From the very beginning, we had decided that Kylie would deal with the grant application and contact with #RisingYouth while Basmah communicated with the Phoenix Youth shelter. This simple agreement helped keep us organized and optimized the time that we each spent on the project.

2.    Take the leap

We originally heard about the #RisingYouth foundation from a poster at our local library, and quite honestly dismissed it since it seemed way out of reach for 16 year olds to get a grant for a project while in high school. It wasn't until a few weeks later that we finally decided to go for it and just apply. The best advice that I can give to someone interested in doing a project like this is to be a little delusional and just go for it. The answer is definitely going to be a no if you don't try... but it might be a yes if you do.

3.   Document everything

Everything from pictures, to receipts, email communication, and meeting notes are worth keeping and are likely something that you will have to resort back to at some point. Especially when there are different stakeholders involved, it is super important that you have record of everything that you did. That's also a large reason why we're able to share the process with you today many years later.