Halah Berglin, student body president and a member of the Williams Field Wish Week committee, is proud to be a Black Hawk and lead her school in its fundraising efforts this year. She knows she has a tough act to follow. Over the past three years, the student body has raised more than $40,000 to help grant wishes for Arizona kids with critical illnesses.
“I’ve always loved giving back and when our student council got involved with Make-A-Wish Arizona three years ago, I was so excited and I jumped in right away,” said Halah. “As president of the student body, this is my first opportunity to lead the Wish Week committee and I’m excited to work with students and bring my ideas to our team.”
Halah’s favorite Make-A-Wish moment was meeting wish kid Danielle to personally hand over a check for $25,000 -- all the money that the school raised this past year for wishes just like Danielle’s. With the average cost of a wish being about $10,000, the school has already granted four wishes for kids who could be their peers, siblings or friends.
“Last year, our school asked to raise money for a specific wish kid. Danielle is 17 years old and lives in Gilbert like us, so I think raising money to help a local kid was very relatable for students at our school.” said Halah. “We were able to fully support Danielle’s wish to go on a Caribbean cruise, as well as a wish for a second and possibly third wish kid.”
“When I handed her the check at our closing assembly, everyone in the gym went wild,” she continued. “It felt super rewarding and so many people were in tears, including me.”
Halah and her team already have started planning for their upcoming Wish Week in April.
“We plan to speak to every class to build the excitement and let kids know about Make-A-Wish and why we host these Wish Week activities,” she said. “Every year, we set a goal and every year, it’s been a huge surprise to find out how much more we’re able to raise to help grant wishes. I hope to be pleasantly surprised with our total again this year.”
In addition to her role at Williams Field, Halah also serves as Vice President on the Make-A-Wish Arizona Youth Leadership Council. The council is made up of 25 students from 22 high schools to create and share fundraising best-practices for schools across the state that want to partner with Make-A-Wish Arizona to help wish kids.
“It might seem like a lot of work, but we’ve found hosting multiple events makes our Wish Week really successful,” she said. “We have an event every day during the lunch hour and other events on campus after school like bingo, movie nights and dodgeball. Plus, we organize fundraisers at local restaurants so students can get their family members involved.”
Halah, a senior in high school, is currently applying to in-state colleges and hopes to get more involved or intern with Make-A-Wish Arizona after she graduates.
“I think happiness is a medicine and a wish provides something for kids when they can be in a really dark place,” she said. “I’m not sure yet what I want to do in the future, but after being involved with Make-A-Wish, I’m thinking about working for a nonprofit someday.”
Halah, who is a huge thrill-seeker, says if she could have her one true wish she would go bungee jumping in the Swiss Alps.
If you are interested in learning more about our Kids For Wish Kids program or planning a Wish Week for your school or organization, please contact External Events Manager, Brenna Stewart, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602.343.9460.