Students’ Conservation Efforts Awarded $5,000 at WE Day

On April 25, the Mount Madonna School (MMS) fifth grade class attended WE Day at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The students were invited to attend because of their class project to protect sea otters. Along with the invitation, event organizers asked the class to designate a student spokesperson to come on stage during the event and share about their project with the huge, youth-filled audience.

“It felt good to know my class trusted me with the responsibility to go on stage and present our project,” said fifth grader Aidan Rassech.

In addition to having their environmental work spotlighted, the class also received some surprise support: a $5,000 award from Rodan and Fields, to help the current and future fifth grade classes further their work to protect and preserve the environment. And earlier this year, the class received a $250 award from Allstate Insurance to support the current project and that went directly towards the production costs of the educational movie they create and use as a means to fundraise for otter organizations that helped to support them.”

In spite of very slim odds of even being invited to attend one of the exclusive annual WE Day events, this is the second consecutive year that an MMS fifth grade class was invited. In 2018, both the fifth and ninth grades were invited due to their in-depth projects aimed at protecting humpback whales (fifth grade) and reducing plastic pollution (ninth grade). The effort is particularly sweet for these elementary students, as WE Days are primarily attended by high school students.

To see the WE Day video clip that includes Rassech and onstage, click here.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.