Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Charter Students Take Ideas to World Stage

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

City Charter Students Take Ideas to World Stage

Article excerpt

As a high school student, Bryce Johnson of Brighton Heights didn't always see himself as able to help change the world.

But as part of a City Charter High School team that won international recognition, he knows he has.

"We're making a pretty large impact, and I love it," Bryce said.

The team, which started an environmental business, came in second among contestants representing 14 countries at the SAGE World Cup competition in Moscow last month, when six members presented. SAGE stands for Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship.

Last week, wearing blue-and-green coordinated competition attire, the team shared its carefully timed 12-minute presentation with the board of the Downtown high school.

The team, which is part of an after-school activity, earned the right to compete by winning the national championship in the social enterprise business category, one of two in the competition.

The students' business is called SEED ? Students Encouraging Environmentalism Downtown. The organization contracts with City High to collect materials for recycling, including old newspapers, other paper, plastic salad containers and various materials at the school.

The students collect from the five floors of the school on Stanwix Street and see that items are in the loading dock area for pickup. The students figure they collect five tons of materials each month. They estimate they have saved 1,600 trees in 2 1/?2 years.

The school pays more than $7,000 a year for their services. Of its annual income, more than half goes to scholarships to the school's SAGE students, 37.5 percent to business and competition expenses and 10 percent for charitable donations and other expenses. Last year, SAGE distributed more than $4,500 in scholarships.

To go to Moscow, the group relied on about $20,000 in donations, including foundation and business support.

"It was a remarkable experience, given the state of global politics," said Maureen Anderson, a City High teacher who, along with teacher Ted Zatezalo, went to Moscow with the students.

"It was without borders and barriers," she said, noting competitors included students from Russia and Ukraine. …

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