Can an entire high school give up their cell phones for 24 hours?

 
By Evelea Solgos
West Aurora High School Senior
Updated 9/18/2018 7:46 PM
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  • For 24 hours during Homecoming, West Aurora High School students plan to turn off their phones. They are raising funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization called Watts of Love based in Downers Grove.

    For 24 hours during Homecoming, West Aurora High School students plan to turn off their phones. They are raising funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization called Watts of Love based in Downers Grove. Courtesy of Christina Tammen

Perhaps the most infuriating and mystifying part of modern teenage culture is an object that teens find to be a normal, natural part of everyday lives: their cell phones.

While the exact effects of smartphones are still being studied, the fact that these devices are becoming increasingly saturated in the world is certain. To give up one's cell phone is to give up connection, communication, entertainment, and more, a sacrifice that feels monumental given the breakneck speed of current cultural trends.

Yet for 24 hours, the students of West Aurora High School plan to do exactly this.

What could possibly be reason enough to pry these kids away from their phones?

The ability to make a tangible difference in the world by bringing light into darkness.

These West High students plan to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization called Watts of Love, an amazing team of world changing pioneers based in Downers Grove, Ill.

Watts of Love sends people all around the world, introducing solar light as a resource to elevate those living in impoverished and disaster-stricken regions.

On Friday, Sept. 21, Nancy Economou, founder and president of Watts of Love, will speaking to the student body and firing them up with a message that they were born to be world changers! She will be laying out a simple platform called "Go Dark Give Light" and demonstrating how they are the first generation in history with the ability to eradicate darkness and bring light, hope, and love to those around the world living in unimaginable conditions.

So, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, smack dab in the middle of homecoming week, West Aurora High School students will be invited to turn off their phones. They will turn them back on together during the second quarter of the homecoming football game on Sept. 28, 24 hours later!

Can you imagine a generation selflessly going dark to light the nations? Imagine no longer; it is happening right here and now!

What started as just an idea in an after-school club has taken off and is making a real impact in the world.

The students' goal is to raise $1,000 for Watts of Love and to challenge other schools and youth groups across the nation to step up by going to the Watts of Love website and signing up to "Go Dark!"

They don't plan to stop there: West High aims to inspire the whole nation to see Watts of Love's $50,000 "Go Dark Give Light" goal fully funded by Christmas! They are also challenging families to "Go Dark" this Thanksgiving and raise money by getting sponsors for every hour they stay off their phones.

If you are reading this article on your phone, take a moment to consider. Can you entertain the thought of not using your phone for 24 hours? This may be exactly what you need to get plugged back into humanity. You can join these students in their selfless act, helping them to create a ripple effect on their school, their city and the nation! Together, we can make this a reality as we remember that there has always been something more important than our electronic devices: each other. It's Time to Go Dark!

West High's Watts of Love donation page is at support.wattsoflove.org/westaurora.

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