Q&A With Microgrant Recipient Tracy


Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet 17 year old Tracy from Philadelphia, PA.  Tracy belongs to Central High School’s Recycling Club, and she and other club members are trying to encourage recycling in and outside of school, as well as preserve and stabilize recycling at Central High. The Recycling Club is comprised of approximately 64 student volunteers who are all assigned individual floors at the school where they collect the recyclables directly from the recycling bins located in every classroom. The club’s goal is to inform the school and maximize the amount of waste being recycled. Tracy’s team conducts monthly audits by weighing the collected recyclables in kilograms in order to assess progress.

  1. What inspired you to start this project? The inspiration behind Recycling Club comes from the determination to make a positive impact—no matter how small—in the environment. The practice of recycling has a strong potential to mitigate the ongoing cycle of plastic pollution. Also, recycling encourages clean habits and brings the community together by giving people the opportunity to recycle. Thus, although our school’s Recycling Club has been around for the past few years, the cabinet and I have continued the practice of encouraging recycling and sustaining an environmentally-friendly community.
  2. Other than you, how many student volunteers participated in your service project? 80
  3. Other than you, how many adult volunteers participated in your service project? 1
  4. How many hours did you spend on your project? 30
  5. How many hours did other volunteers spend on your project? 30
  6. How many individuals were affected by your project? 2400
  7. During the time period between when you applied for a K4C microgrant & when you completed the project, what surprised you? In that time period, I was surprised by the diligence and sacrifice that every volunteer made despite the initial financial setback. Through a cabinet member’s own contribution, we were able to support our recycling efforts until the grant arrived. Still, the volunteers kept coming back and helping recycle on their assigned floor.
  8. Overall what did you learn from this experience? Overall, this experience taught me to persevere and have faith in what I believe. If my team and I had not applied for more and more grants, despite the plethora of rejections, we would have never found K4C. In turn, we would have not been able to keep recycling for the rest of the school year. To sum up, I learned that if you strongly believe in making a difference and have an idea, there are people behind organizations like K4C who will empower you to succeed.
  9. How will your project continue having an impact in the future? In the upcoming years, Recycling Club will continue to be active in encouraging volunteerism, instilling recycling habits, and inspiring others to make a difference.
  10. How was the K4C microgrant helpful in the completion of your project? The generous microgrant provided us with the financial support and opportunity to continue Recycling Club this year and many years to come. Since this is the first year where we experienced a major loss in supplies, the grant allowed us to purchase supplies like bags and reusable gloves in order to ensure our volunteers had the materials to help recycle.