JACKSON HOLE, WYO \u2013 Mrs. Jennifer Marlar\u2019s and Ms. Kelly Kaiser\u2019s 7th grade classes at Jackson Hole Middle School are learning something now that the teachers\u2019 7th grade classes last year learned: it takes guts sometimes to put yourself out there and make a difference. Seventh-graders at JHMS were asked to find a problem in the world today and do something to fix it. It\u2019s part of the curriculum for the 7th grade Quarter 4 \u201cCombat the Silence\u201d project where these young pre-teens learn that when they see something wrong in the world all it takes to get working on a solution is a little courage, some bravery, and a whole lotta guts. The following kids took a risk\u2014far out of their comfort zones for some\u2014and made their community aware of a particular issue. It\u2019s \u201cGuts Factor\u201d time, and these students were up to the challenge. Mrs. Marlar\u2019s class: Raising Awareness through Teaching Others Sarah Robinson and Rachel Klemmer braved their fears and taught an entire 5th grade class at Colter Elementary about the dangers of food additives. They created a PowerPoint presentation and a mini-lesson teaching kids to be more informed about what they are putting into their bodies. Gus Hamilton and Harry Tebay cycled an incredible 25 miles (meeting up with coyotes along the way) as they informed people they met with artistic posters and pamphlets about the crisis of poaching wild animals in Africa. They explained how poachers are single-handedly spearheading the extinction of the African Vultures due to the poison they leave on their kills as to not alert the authorities. Jessica Johnson and Sidney Nash win the award for most creative way to spread awareness by inventing their own mini-carnival during the Health Fair in PowderHorn Park. Their booth setup had several homemade games with prizes. Each game was themed with families that are tragically being displaced by tornadoes, and offered ways we can help. They raised $140 and donated that to The Red Cross. Way to go ladies! Lily Briggs and Jackson Fouras really took a risk and put themselves out there, literally. They both wore sandwich boards covered in the harmful phrases cyberbullies use on one side, as well as positive phrases and statistics of teen suicide on the other. Then they bravely walked the town of Jackson informing others about the dangers of cyberbullying and how it can lead to teen suicide. After tragically losing her grandfather to Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)\u2014a condition that causes lung tissue to become thickened, stiff, and scarred\u2014Marie Kane and Lorene Kane created a fundraising page so people can pledge money for each mile Marie could bike. Marie ended up biking from Teton Village to Dornan\u2019s (over 11 miles) and raised more than $500 for her cause! With no known cure, the disease is often fatal within three to five years of diagnosis. In the United States, PF affects more than 200,000 people. Natalie Joralemon and Mira Roddy broke the 7th grade record for funds raised by getting sponsors to pledge a $1 per cartwheel that Natalie flipped consecutively. By the time she was done, Natalie completed an insane 134 cartwheels! All said and done, Natalie and Mira raised a grand total of $1,350.05. The pair will make Wyoming\u2019s own \u201cDog is my Copilot\u201d non-profit the recipient of their donation. Daniel Garcia-Santos, Jose Garcia-Torres, Roque Maldonado, Maydeline Melendez Carrillo, and Alfonso Centeno Perez baked, baked, and baked some more for a bake goods sale at Snow King Park to raise awareness for their topics teen suicide and alcoholism. They raised a whopping $60.60 and donated it to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Ryan Dunn boldly went door-to-door collecting canned goods so that he could donate them to Jackson\u2019s Food Cupboard. Spreading Awareness through Technology Dillon Hanna and Tina Tonkin went out into cyberspace to create websites that raise awareness for their cause. Dillon tackled the controversial idea that science and religion can coexist with a thesis called The Collision of Science, Religion, and the Higgs Boson.\u00a0Tina wants Americans to consume less to help save our resources and preserve our planet American Consumerism. Sam Crabtree and Juan Flores created a short mini-movie that follows the life of a piece of litter. The movie highlights the fact that our garbage and plastics, if not disposed of properly, all ends up in the ocean. That is a huge threat to all kinds of sea life around the world. They then emailed the video to several advisory teachers at JHMS and presented their video with a short informational introduction to several of the 7th grade advisory classes. Spreading Awareness through Art and Performance Diana Moser got up in front of the entire 7th grade during the Medieval Faire and with such great poise and confidence recited a poem she created on the dangers of carcinogens found in the foods we buy everyday. Diana hoped to spread awareness so that students are informed about how to find out exactly what is in the foods they eat. Natasha Carrillo-Sanchez boldly sang, "Scars to your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara, with Maylia Lohman accompanying her on violin in a beautiful and extremely brave performance to the entire 7th grade class. Morgan Kilmain gave a quick speech explaining their #perfectgirls campaign, sending the message that all girls are beautiful no matter what the media portrays as beauty. Brian Ramos performed in front of the entire 7th grade class a beautiful poem he wrote about the horrors of homelessness in our country. Ms. Kaiser\u2019s class: Political Action Clancy Meagher and Sydney Crothers epitomized bravery by speaking out at a town hall meeting about the importance of keeping land open for multi-use purposes, especially snowmobiling\u2014a family tradition for Clancy and Syd. Brooklyn Hills and Addie Robertson marched into the mayor\u2019s office, boldly shook Pete Muldoon\u2019s hand, and then proceeded to explain their idea for a plastic bag ban in Jackson Hole. Despite a very busy schedule, Muldoon listened intently and, along with the assistant town attorney, explained to Brooklyn and Addie the process the girls would need to follow to make the ban a rule. Go for it, Addie and Brooklyn! Education: Spreading Awareness Let\u2019s talk scary brave. Hannah Higgins and Lilly Eggett taught the entire fourth and fifth grades at Wilson Elementary about the crucial subject of bullying. They met with incredible Wilson teachers, created a lesson plan, and spread awareness about the long-term effects of bullying and the life-altering potential changes to everyone involved. Marisol Mendoza and Jesica Tzompa galvanized JES second graders with a presentation about water, demonstrating the problem of water pollution with a cool experiment. Matthew Grady and Charlie Hoelscher took on Advanced Placement Juniors at JHHS, teaching and discussing the impact of the Geneva Conventions on today\u2019s world. Said one impressed AP junior:\u201cWow, I wasn't doing that in seventh grade.\u201d Eddie Owens, Ethan Holmes, Alex Shedd, and Nick Pedroza summed up the courage to teach a lesson for students at Summit High School. Eddie and Ethan taught about fake news and the problem of the US political divide. Alex and Nick dove into the difficult discussion of suicide and how to help or prevent this tragedy. Yocelyn Morales and Bethany Enriquez taught Ms. Hultman\u2019s amazing 5th grade class at CES about bullying, creating skits to help kids understand how to deal with tough situations. Fundraising Joe Zolik and Ridge Kling stood outside Smith\u2019s for three hours, informing people about hidden illnesses that affect young people. They raised a \u201cGuts Factor\u201d record for Ms. Kaiser\u2019s class of $500, which they will donate to Lurie\u2019s Hospital of Chicago. Bailey Chamberland, Jacie Chatham, Zaidee Smith, and Betsy Beristain-Aburto held 3-on-3 basketball and volleyball tournaments, and an impressive bake sale for some 100 middle school kids. Their goal? To raise awareness for kids worldwide who are facing hunger, poverty, war, and health problems. This group raised $240. They donated it to Right to Play, and Save the Children. Hannah Freeze and Morgan May feel very strongly that animals should not be neglected or abandoned. They exhibited serious guts by calling Whole Grocer to inquire about fundraising for the incredible charity Dog is My Copilot. Whole Grocer said yes! So the girls baked cookies (and dog treats from scratch), informing countless patrons on the important issue. They raised $263 to save abandoned dogs. Walter Duquette and Quinn Wieters held a Kendama tournament, providing snacks, games, and most importantly, crucial information about the problems Orca whales face when forced into captivity. It was a day of wooden toys, Orca whales, and happy kids. Who would have thought? Worried teens are too mired in technology? Lia Sinclair, Dany Luna Ramos, Leslie Garcia Cisneros, Esbedy Gamez, Taisha Nava Castillo held a hangout at Snow King Park, inviting kids to play games and join in the fun with just one rule: no phones. Additionally, they cooked up a mountain of tamales, selling them to benefit Teton Youth and Family Services. Art Colin Reese and Will Pew designed a climate change timeline along the bike path between the middle school and Summit High School in an impressive effort to inform the public.