The visit was kept secret for the most part but there was a buzz floating around among students. They knew something special was in store.
The visitors were part of the prize for winning a national competition called The Future Forward Challenge put on by the organization Get Schooled. Students had to fulfill several different tasks such as holding discussions with college experts, completing educational games, and seniors filling out their college financial aid forms. The competition ran January through March of last year.
Taco Bell’s CEO Greg Creed is from Australia. He says that teenagers have always been a neglected group but people need to focus on them because they are the future.
“What I want the kids to get out of this is that they can have a dream, a big dream and you can actually have a big dream come to life,” Creed said. “And I think what happens to a lot of teenagers today is they don’t have a dream. They’re not sure what they can do. They don’t believe. Their world is limited and I just think I what I want the kids to know is they can dream as big as they want.”
Rapper Kendrick Lamar held a workshop in a small classroom full of students.
NBA basketball player James Harden says he came to Bethel to support the students for all their hard work. His message to them was to not give up.
BRHS Principal Janelle Vanasse helped keep the visit under wraps. She called the experience for the students “fabulous”.