Meet K4C microgrant recipient Lexi (16) from OK. Lexi’s high school, Broken Arrow Vanguard Academy, offers an alternative to the traditional high school experience, where students use a human-centered approach to design creative and unique opportunities to solve problems in their community. As a part of Lexi’s engineering design class, her coach prompted students to reach out to a former teacher who impacted their lives and for whom students wanted to pay it forward. So Lexi reached out to Mrs. Pearson, the reading recovery interventionist, at Country Lane Primary. Lexi asked her what she could do to help support her and her classroom, and Mrs. Pearson’s response was: provide a safe, reliable place for students to read and advance their literacy capabilities.
- What inspired you to start this project? I was inspired to start this project when we started our “Pay It Forward” unit in my human-centered design class. I immediately knew I wanted to give back to the classroom and knew that I wanted to work with someone who had an impact on my life. I chose to work with Mrs. Pearson, who was my kindergarten teacher. She always supported me in everything I did, and I wanted to help her in any way that I could.
- While working on your project, what surprised you? While working on this project, I was surprised at how willing people were to help me create my final product. I was able to receive book donations from my local community to help me make my reading corner as special as possible.
- What do you feel you learned from this experience? I feel as though I have learned about perseverance and through all of the bumps in the road, the result is always greater in the end. There were times I got frustrated during this project, but none of that frustration compares to the joy I felt after I finally got the space set up.
- How did Karma for Cara impact your project? Karma for Cara allowed me to bring my ideas and creations to life. They gave me motivation and the funds to create a space for elementary students that is special and welcoming.
- How will your project continue to impact others? My project will continue to impact the community for years to come. My goal was to not only give back to Mrs. Pearson, but give the students of her school a safe space. School can be an overwhelming and frustrating time for students at any age, but I want to reduce the frustration and turn it into motivation to do well in school.
- How many hours did you spend on your project? 60
- How many youth volunteers were involved in your project? 5
- How many total hours did other youth volunteers spend on your project? 35