LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Six Destination Imagination students at Pineywoods Community Academy in Lufkin are in desperate need for sponsors as they make their way towards the Global Final in Knoxville, TN on May 21-24.
Destination Imagination is a non-profit, volunteer-led, global organization that inspires students to come up with innovative ideas for global issues.
Armed with their mind's, and leadership skills that will help them get innovative jobs in the future, the team beat out the competition in Austin over the weekend receiving 1st place medals for 100 percent in the Instant Challenge and placed 8th with an advancement to the Global Finals.
In Texas, the Instant Challenge requires teams to engage in quick and creative critical thinking. Those teams receive a challenge and have to use select materials to solve it in five to eight minutes.
According to the Global Finals web site, they are anticipating this year's Global Finals to be the largest in its history. There are more than 1,300 teams expected to participate.
But, in order for the PCA team to get there, they have to raise $5,000 or more in a short time frame.
"We have 30 days to get all the money to go to globals, which is the highest tournament for DI and so we're kind of freaking out because we need money," said Maci Moore, a DI member.
"It's going to help us pay for registration, pay for a hotel room, food, gas, our trip mainly—our entire trip to Knoxville, Tennessee," said Jayla Smith, a DI member.
The team went to the regional competition in Mesquite, TX in March and received 3rd place with a "Torchbearer Award." The award is given to teams who were able to take a global problem and make a personal connection with their skills and talents to find a solution.
They then advanced to the state competition in Austin.
Rayna Smith, the team manager and GT teacher for PCA, says if they do not raise the money the team will not be able to attend the finals.
The team has joined the Ronald McDonald House for their project outreach challenge to help those families affected by life-threatening illnesses.
The team had a movie drive with the school several months ago and raised 60 movies. They will be having a second drive to receive donations for toiletries for the Ronald McDonald House in May.
Anyone interested in sponsoring the group can reach out to Rayna at firstname.lastname@example.org.