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Spartan Competes in International Competition

Spartan Competes in International Competition
Posted on 05/13/2019
Spartan Competes in International CompetitionOlivia Gaibor of Basking Ridge, a freshman at Immaculata, competed in the state competition for Destination Imagination, a cause-driven, volunteer-led non-profit organization, whose purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders. She and her team of six other girls qualified in the Service Learning Challenge to compete in the Global Finals on May 22–25, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri.

For the challenge the team was required to identify, design, and carry out a project that addresses a need in a real community and create and theatrically present a story that builds suspense. They wrote a story about a young girl, trying to escape her feelings of despair. For their community need, the team worked with God's Co-op in Bernardsville to collect over $1,300 worth of Christmas gifts for families who otherwise could not afford them.

“Working with God’s Co-op in October, we co-hosted an event in December,” explains Olivia, who has been involved with Destination Imagination since she was in third grade. “At the party held at Good Shepard Church in Bernardsville, we gave gifts to the children, as well as food and crafts to their families. We interacted with the guests and took their pictures to give to their parents. This experience reinforced how fortunate I am. This event inspired my team to continue supporting the God's Co-op in the future.”

The next facet of the competition was creating a narrative. For six months, she and her teammates built props and wrote a skit to prepare for the competition in late March. “We presented a story that incorporated our service project to help the needy in our area,” explains Olivia. “It told of a girl whose goal was to escape her hopeless world. Our skit finds her with no Christmas presents and entrapped by Despair, the plot’s antagonist. However, with some help, she gained hope and received holiday gifts. To support the storyline, we designed props to display the two worlds, one with hope and one without. We also built a symbolic cage for Hope, another main character. Costumes and original songs also had to be completed.”

The Global Finals is the culminating event of every Destination Imagination (DI) season. The goal of the program is to have students work together in teams to create a solution to one of six competitive challenges: Technical, Scientific, Fine Arts, Improvisational, Engineering and Service Learning. Teams showcase their solutions at local tournaments. DI teams who advance past Affiliate (state/country) Tournaments are invited to showcase their solutions at Global Finals.

"My team,” says Olivia, “chose the Service Learning Challenge and will compete against other high school students from more than 45 states and 15 countries. In total more than 8,000 students will compete and 17,000 people will attend. We are thrilled to represent our state and the needs of people, who need help meeting everyday financial challenges. It has been a great learning experience, as well as a perfect blueprint for seeing the power of teamwork.”