October Students4Good Webinar RecapNov 08, 2023
By: Ashima Nair, Annual Public Relations Specialist | Digital4Good
As October rolls in with its gentle breeze and a riot of colorful leaves, it's not just the weather that's changing. Some amazing students - Rohan Satija, Jaya Ande, Corin O’ Neill, and Zipporah Hinds - are on a mission to make their communities better. With their incredible determination and unwavering dedication, they're like the autumn leaves – embracing change and spreading warmth wherever they go
Rohan Satija, a junior at Westwood High School in Austin, Texas, stands as the co-founder of Let's Learn Foundation, a nonprofit organization with an impressive mission. The Let's Learn team has successfully reached and aided over 10,000 underprivileged students across 11 different school districts in the state of Texas by providing them with essential educational materials. Their goal is to alleviate mental health issues associated with academic challenges, ultimately fostering a healthier learning environment.
Rohan's dedication to mental health advocacy in students is deeply rooted in his own experiences. After relocating from New Zealand to the United States, he faced cultural barriers that initially left him feeling isolated and disconnected from his peers. During this period, he discovered solace in reading, as books became his companions and a source of comfort. Over time, Rohan's passion for literature not only helped him cope but also enabled him to connect with like-minded individuals who shared his interests.
Let's Learn Foundation's impact extends beyond its direct assistance to students. The organization has actively collaborated with other nonprofit entities, including "Creative Action," to amplify their reach and create a more substantial impact, particularly within the Austin area. Through these partnerships and Rohan's commitment, Let's Learn continues to make a positive difference in the lives of students facing academic and mental health challenges.
Let us Think
Jaya Ande, a senior at Rock Hill High School in Texas, has embarked on a mission to foster awareness and understanding of mental health challenges. She is the founder of Let’s Think, a dedicated website that serves as an invaluable resource for dispelling misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses, including conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Jaya's unwavering commitment to this cause stems from her profound belief in the importance of dispelling misconceptions.
Jaya firmly recognizes that misconceptions about mental illnesses can contribute to stigma, discrimination, and a pervasive lack of comprehension among those who grapple with these conditions. To combat this, Let's Think offers a wealth of enlightening articles addressing these very misconceptions. Moreover, the website features monthly blogs delving into various aspects of mental health and different mental illnesses, providing a platform for education and support.
Within her school community, Jaya has made a significant impact, touching the lives of approximately 200 individuals. However, her ambitions extend far beyond these horizons. She aspires to broaden her reach through strategic marketing initiatives, including collaborations with other blogs and mental health advocates. Additionally, Jaya envisions the creation of national and international community events.
Jaya's dedication and her Let's Think initiative exemplify the power of education, compassion, and collaboration in the fight against the stigma surrounding mental health. Her tireless efforts inspire hope and serve as a testament to the positive change that can be achieved through empathy and knowledge.
Corin O’ Neill, a 17-year-old from Abington, Massacchustets, currently attends Cardinal Spellman High School. In 2022, Corin founded Without Distinction, a GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance), creating a safe and inclusive space for queer students and allies. This platform allows them to openly discuss life, share experiences of being queer in a Catholic school, address school-related issues, and collaboratively brainstorm solutions. Without Distinction has successfully brought together a consistent group of 10-15 students.
In addition, Corin’s impactful LGBTeaches series on #ICANHELP Instagram platform offers valuable insights into queer history, identities, and pertinent issues. LGBTeaches reaches not only #ICANHELP's entire Instagram following (approximately 11.5k) but also extends to the followers of those who share it on their stories.
The motivation behind Corin's creation of LGBTeaches and Without Distinction stems from their personal experiences and needs. They recognized the absence of such support during their own middle school years, which hindered their journey of self-discovery within the queer community. By establishing these platforms, Corin aims to provide the guidance and community they wished they had when they were younger.
Zipporah Hinds, is a creative force who is based in San Francisco and a student at the California College of the Arts (CCA). She wears many hats as the visionary behind Zippyidk, a thriving small business with a unique and inspiring mission.
Zippyidk is a celebration of individuality, self-expression, and the joy of embracing what makes us each unique. Zipporah's artistry shines through in her remarkable creations, which include an array of socially conscious and culturally rich stickers, keychains, nails, and jewelry. Her work draws inspiration from social justice themes, black culture, and the dynamic world of anime.
Zipporah has ambitious goals for Zippyidk in the near future. She hopes to expand her team, forming a trio to drive the brand's growth by the end of the year. Furthermore, she aspires to see Zippyidk's presence flourish, transitioning from being featured in 10 stores to 50 stores. These aspirations reflect her dedication to making her unique creations accessible to a wider audience, spreading messages of self-expression, diversity, and empowerment.
In a nutshell, Rohan, Jaya, Corin, and Zipporah are shining examples of young individuals making a profound impact on their communities and the world at large. Their passion, dedication, and innovative initiatives serve as beacons of hope and inspiration. As they continue to grow and evolve in their respective journeys, they remind us that positive change can be sparked by a single person with a powerful vision.
Here are our top three takeaways from this event:
- Learn to be okay with failing - As humans, we all experience failure. What truly matters is our ability to gather the strength to rise again after we fall
- Push Back - Refuse to let anyone discourage you from pursuing your passions, as the end result is going to be well worth the journey.
- Just Start - If you're passionate about something, begin with simply making a list. Jot down your ideas, dreams, or goals related to your passion. This list can serve as the foundation for transforming your passion into action.
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