Public health junior Kelechi Iroegbu started a school supply drive on campus aimed at providing support for elementary students at a Third Ward elementary school.
The project, called Kits for Kids, collects donations and school necessities for underprivileged students at Blackshear Elementary, where 77.5 percent of students are considered at risk of dropping out of school, according to their most recent accountability rating.
“My purpose of this drive is to empower current students and faculty to provide support to underprivileged students within our community and to inspire future leaders to be great regardless of their circumstances,” Iroegbu said.
With fewer students on campus this semester, Iroegbu has not seen as much involvement in Kits for Kids.
“We are facing unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes have largely moved online, which has reduced the number of students on campus that would potentially engage with the Kits For Kids drive,” Iroegbu said.
In addition to the 11-day Kits for Kids drive, Iroegbu has plans to execute similar projects in the future and to continue working with communities in need.
“I will be continuing this program and partnering with other public schools in (the) Greater Third Ward in hopes of uplifting and empowering our future leaders of tomorrow,” Iroegbu said.
For anyone interested in getting involved within this drive, there are so many ways to do so and some of which do not cost anything.
Those interested in becoming involved with the drive can write letters of encouragement or donate books, supplies or money to assist in the project’s efforts, Iroegbu said.
Some students who participated in Kits for Kids said that they felt they made an impact on the futures of children in need.
“This shows the next generation how important they are and helps continue the generation of dreams,” said kinesiology senior Praise Egbo.
Additionally, Egbo believes that along with helping her community, her actions will leverage others.
“No matter how big or how small, I know that I was fortunate enough to bring awareness to and influence my peers to take in interest into their community,” Egbo said.
For other students at UH, this drive hits home.
“When Kelechi first told me about Kits For Kids, he was so excited! As soon as he informed me about the event, I immediately thought of Blackshear Elementary school and the kids I met at my tutoring job last year,” said teaching and learning junior Kai Esquerra.
“I knew this event would help out the students so much.”