Can We Dream?

Can We Dream?

Minh Bui

Students help CHS with the Dell Superprom Challenge to help fulfill Kenya Dream 

Last updated 2/28/2010 10:47 p.m.

For years, the Matadors have spent home football games and Homecoming on the Cupertino High School campus. This year, the two schools shared a heated basketball rivalry in their respective gyms. But as of last week, the two schools have joined hands in a mutual effort to win $100,000 courtesy of the Dell SuperProm challenge and fulfill the Pioneers’ senior class Kenya Dream (Can-ya Dream) project, a four-year project to provide financial aid to Nthimbiri Secondary School in Meru, Kenya.

Cupertino High School is poised to win the grand prize of an all-expenses paid prom in the Dell SuperProm challenge, and fulfill their four year Kenya Dream project. Photo courtesy of Justin Li.

Formal support for the program from MVHS started on Feb. 18, when ASB President senior Samuel Lui began a Facebook group to publicize the event.

"Cupertino High School sent us an email asking for help from all five high schools in the district," Lui said. "I actually made [the Facebook group] after I saw [Fremont High School ASB co-president senior] Larrisa Bertos start one."

The cause itself continues to gain state-wide support and attention. Cupertino High School is currently ranked first in the Dell SuperProm contest, and is the only school in California to make the top ten list. The California Association of Student Leaders has also supported the project by publicizing it on their Facebook page. On Feb. 23, the effort gained media coverage when it was featured on the local ABC 7 News as well as the Mercury News.

The reason why Cupertino High School has had so much success in the Dell SuperProm contest stems from CHS’s long-term project, Kenya Dream. In their freshman year, the CHS class of 2010 decided to donate 100 percent of their fundraising to provide financial aid to Nthimbiri Secondary School in Meru, Kenya, with the intention of raising $100,000 over four years. Despite the enormous social implications of the proposition, the project received 90 percent approval from the class. 

"At the time the whole class wanted to do something different," CHS class of 2010 president senior Justin Li said. "…[we were] so excited already to do something new.

The experimentation was met with approval and interest from the rest of the student body as well. By its sophomore year, Kenya Dream had already grown from a class project to a school-wide endeavor, with the CHS ASB revising its constitution to add a Kenya Dream commission to student government. According to Li, the infectious good will from the project spread to other schools as well.

"In addition to raising money, we wanted to get schools around the community to lend other people a hand," Li said, mentioning in particular MVHS’ Costa Verde Project, which last year provided aid to an international school in Mexico.

That general attitude was rewarded with serendipitous luck when one of the friends of Cupertino High School ASB Kenya Dream commissioner Olivia Drake informed her of the Dell SuperProm competition. Almost 22,000 votes later, and the Pioneers are in a clear lead with over 1800 votes separating them from the runner-up. Since voting ends on Feb. 28, the class of 2010 will be holding a voting party at Tartini on Feb.27 and Feb. 28 to promote the cause. Students who vote at the voting booths will receive 10 percent of their purchase.

"I don’t know if four years ago our schools [MVHS and Cupertino High School] could be connected to as [they are] now," Li said when asked about Matador participation in the cause. "We really showed the world that high school kids can make a difference."

Update as of 10:47 p.m.

CHS won the grand prize of a prom for the entire school, including a celebrity DJ, decor, and food, with 32170 votes at 10 p.m.  Money raised from prom bids will go directly to finance Kenya Dream.


Kenya Dream co-founder and CHS class of 2010 president Justin Li got the most votes on an individual video (30938 votes) and will get the individual grand prize of limo service, $500 towards personal prom preparation, and a Dell laptop.  Li has pledged to donate the money to Kenya Dream and donate the limo service and laptop to a drawing where funds will go to Kenya Dream.
Official results will be announced March 8.