Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, Albuquerque, NM
Fundraising Activities: OMAN - Open Mic and Arts Night included over 20 student acts performed live on May 20th 2022
Raised enough funds to send 50 children to school for a year

Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, a public K-12 school in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been a UWS Partner School since 2018 where they began focusing on UWS Hansea School in Myanmar. Hansea transitioned to local control in 2021 and Cottonwood chose Nepal, and specifically UWS Simma School as their focus.

Cottonwood’s student-led Social Action Club, with the guidance of educator Peter Lukes, hosted the popular Open Mic and Arts Night, OMAN, to raise funds for United World Schools.

This year’s OMAN event, held on May 20th, 2022 was the biggest in history with over 20 performances by students. Student emcees Noah and Celeste kept the audience engaged while introducing acts that included: Rock bands, classical guitar solos, stand-up comedy, violin solos, raps, duets on piano and guitar, acapella and puppet theater. Student technicians Lucy and Body spend many hours setting up the microphones, speakers and video equipment and live-streamed the nearly four hour event on YouTube.

Students from the Social Action Club enlisted community businesses as partners to the UWS OMAN event to donate concession items. Dions Pizza donated pizza, Crumble Cookies donated, you guessed it, cookies and Donut Mart donated donuts. This year, for the first time, OMAN concessions transactions were all cashless with “donors” using their smartphones to donate directly to UWS for each “purchase” which Peter Lukes explained was - how we trade concessions for donations to UWS to provide education to children who otherwise would not have a school to attend.

Throughout the event, videos were projected that told the story of the impact United World Schools is having on marginalized communities in Cambodia, Madagascar, Myanmar and Nepal. Included were shout-outs from Kenneth Creed, the UWS USA Director of Service Learning and Partner Schools and Surya Karki, Nepal country director. The consistent messages coming from Lukes, Creed and Karki was that the children of Cottonwood Classical School and leaders from the Social Action Club are transforming lives with their efforts. The OMAN event raised over $2500, all of it matched by the UWS USA board of directors. Those funds, $5000 allow 50 UWS students to receive an education for an entire year, transforming their lives forever.

Thank you Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, the Social Action Club, every performer and your entire community for investing in education for the children in Nepal.