It’s just a pencil right?
What started out as a school assignment to find a solution to a world problem has turned out to be a success story for a grade 11 student who has helped peers across Canada and the African continent. Kerry Yang, a student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, has been organizing the Sudbury School Supply Drive in the Sudbury District for the last couple of years.
She says it started out as an assignment and now has become a major initiative with many local, national and international partners including Develop Africa and TakingITGlobal.
Yang says she has collected over 3,000 items.
Yang adds fellow students have indicated a strong interest in continuing the initiative, one she believes that will have a far-reaching impact for years to come.
In the 2019-2020 school year, Yang collected hundreds of school supplies in Sudbury that were distributed to students in Africa through an organization called Develop Africa.
“This year, upon learning about the education gaps in Canada’s territories, rural, remote, and northern communities, and even large cities, I set out the ambitious goal to collect school supplies for over 200 students across our country,” explains Yang. “As the first recipient from Sudbury to have the support of the Rising Youth grant led by TakingITGlobal and the Government of Canada, I far exceeded the impact I thought was possible in the community.
“Upon receiving the grant in October, I set out to find the right organizations, communities, schools, and programs that would benefit from school supplies as well as community partners that could become involved. With the help of local businesses, I put together a local gift basket that would incentivize community members to donate new or gently-used school supplies as a ticket into the basket giveaway.”
As the drive wound down in March, over 200 pounds of donations were collected, totalling around 3,000 school supplies that would be distributed to eight recipients in four provinces and territories.
“These school supplies would go towards low-income families, summer camp programs, schools, and all other students in need. It is my goal to be able to inspire other youth in the community to realize that they are never too young to create meaningful change,” concludes Yang.
Anyone wishing to contribute either monetary gifts or school supplies, is encouraged to contact Yang via email at firstname.lastname@example.org