For most students at HBA, winter break served as a reprieve from school work and an excuse to sleep in.
However, on December 28 to 29, sophomore Jalen Sur managed to complete 24 consecutive hours of the online vocabulary enhancement program, Membean, and raised over two-hundred dollars for Hawaii Literacy.
Under the hashtags #waterthebean and #thebeanstream, the news spread quickly throughout social media and caught the attention of the HBA faculty and staff. English 10 teacher Jennifer Duncklee, who teaches Sur in her class, commends Sur’s achievement, “I am so proud of Jalen for coming up with a creative way to raise money for literacy and am very impressed he made it through 24 hours of Membean! I know I could not have done Membean that long in one sitting.”
Sur’s classmate, Kristin Moniz, said, “It is honestly insane for someone to devote an entire day’s worth of potential free time [to do Membean] and raise money for a charity.”
When asked why he chose to do 24 hours of membean, Sur responded, “I wanted to do this for those who are unable to get the resources they need for basic literacy. Since HBA [instructs us] to do Membean as a mandatory assignment, I figured that it would be best to show appreciation to what we are given.”
Established in 1971, Hawaii Literacy is an organization that recognizes the importance of knowledge in literacy by providing hundreds of disadvantaged students and adults a “second chance” into reading, writing, and speaking English. As stated in their mission statement, “…greater literacy builds stronger families and communities.” Sur and contributors of the charity fund’s donation would aid the organization into buying books, resources, and assistance to those in need.
In total, Sur completed 434 new words, 2926 questions, and an entire level during the 24-hour long journey. Friends of Sur came to stop by at his house to give him moral support and played a variety of games, including the Bean Boozled challenge, the Russian Roulette of candy games. Sur obtained over a hundred live viewers on Twitch.
The idea sparked the interests of many students, including a seventh grader, who wanted to remain anonymous. He said, “…it is definitely [something] I would do in the future [because] it is for a good cause.”