Hopedale DI Team Wins State Competition, Invited to International Tournament

Issue Date: 
May, 2019
Article Body: 

A middle-school aged team from Hopedale won first place at the state tournament for Destination Imagination on Saturday at WPI in Worcester, MA. The team, calling themselves “The Radical Whales 4.0” was made up of seven sixth- and seventh-graders. They had been working together as a team for four years, and this year completed a service project benefitting the Gan Rivkah Center, a Milford women and children shelter. They then wrote a skit and performed it in competition to explain their project. The team has been invited to showcase their project at the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City, MO in late May.
The team was led by co-managers Kristi Brytowski and Sarah Sheldrake. The members were Lizzie Brytowski, Matthew Carroll, Leah Hodgdon, Layden MacDonald, Patrick Madden, Ellie Poitras, and Katie Sheldrake.
Destination Imagination is an international educational non-profit encouraging creativity, problem solving, leadership, and collaboration through projects featured at regional, state, and global competitions. The Radical Whales 4.0 will be joining teams from around the world at the Global Finals in Kansas City as they compete, share ideas, and celebrate their teams’ successes together.
Team Co-Manager Kristi Brytowski talked about the special bond this team has. “These kids are from different grades, different groups, and were not friends before they formed the team. The all have very different ideas and perspectives. But when they get together, each kid approaches a problem in his or her own unique way, and the whole team benefits. When they get together, it is like some sort of magic happens”.
Team member Leah Hodgdon explained what being a member of the Radical Whales means to her. “We have been a team for four years, and are almost like family. We know each other’s strengths and are able to put things together using what each of us are good at”.
Hodgdon went on to describe how attending Global Finals is such a special experience. “It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and an amazing experience. It is going to bring our team together even more. I am looking forward to seeing what other teams from around the country and world do, as it will help us to branch out of our comfort zone and get new ideas.”
The team immediately began fundraising to help reduce the cost of the trip, which is estimated to be about $15,000 for registration, travel, and lodging. They have established a gofundme page, and are planning additional local fundraisers in the community.
For more information on donating to The Radical Whales 4.0, visit www.RadicalWhales.com. You can also contact team manager Kristi Brytowski at [email protected] or 774-239-2261.
The Gan Rivkah Center was started 6 years ago by Hadassah Rose, as a means of affordable day care. In a few short months became the woman’s center it is today.  The center provides accommodations for 27 women with or without children; and their pets if needed. For more information contact Hadassah Rose at 508-838-6151 or [email protected].