As we approach the two-year mark of this pandemic, virtually nobody can say that their mental health has not taken a toll. For many, it is has been so devastating that pushing forward feels futile and painful. This story is all too familiar in my life as a junior in high school, and my dad’s seven-year struggle with terminal ALS has only exacerbated this fight through the pandemic.
Although these conditions have been devastating, I used the stories of others who have fought against barriers as a source of inspiration and hope. I realized the tremendous value of role models - people to look up to convince you that you can overcome anything. This mentality empowered me to overcome the mental travesty of my dad’s illness - inspiring me in my recent journey to have raised over $50,000 worth of electronics and $10,000 of supplemental funds to similarly empower hundreds of underprivileged students in Honduras.
Two years ago, a group of other high schoolers and I started a nonprofit called Service Beakers that has provided free science lessons to over 3,600 young students across eight NC schools with a focus on empowering young students despite the pandemic. This year, our team expanded our impact beyond NC - partnering with St. Michael's Church to assist in their annual mission to bring educational support to students in Honduras. In these past three months, our team of high schoolers piloted the first widespread electronic crowdsourcing initiative of their mission. With the campaign now closing, we garnered over 250 devices valued at well over $50,000 - including laptops, monitors, and PC's that will revitalize the students' education by introducing them to the powerful world of technology when we transport these resources to Honduras this March.
If you are struggling during these downcast years of the pandemic, there are millions of other Americans, including me, who are standing with you. Just as I overcame the turmoil of my father's ALS, I will never stop fighting for the empowerment of others despite any obstacle they face. The reality is that no matter what obstacle you face, it can be overcome.
Please Visit www.servicebeakers.com & http://stmichaelcarysisterparish.org/education/ for more information