Student organization fights for Kenya's future
Kenya feel the love? That’s the question Kamiak High School students Tiffany Coons and Heather Pearson are asking the community.
The Kamiak sophomores founded Bold Futures: Kenya Feel the Love, a non-profit organization devoted to help improve the futures of children in Kenya. This summer, they will travel to the East African country to help out firsthand.
When they first started fundraising, their goal was to raise enough funds to go to Kenya and help build either a well or a school through another organization. But they soon decided to go bolder – and create their own non-profit.
“We thought that we could make this bigger than a trip for one summer, but that we could make a big impact,” Heather said. “We decided to make our own nonprofit so we could continue our work for multiple years instead of just one trip and done.”
The non-profit is currently working with several Kenyan schools and villages, as well as another organization that protects women’s land rights in Kenya.
“Women don’t get as many opportunities in Kenya,” Heather said.
“One of the main reasons to go on the trip is to figure out what they need help with,” Tiffany added. “We’re talking to women and the youth there and helping them realize they can get out of a situation.”
They are visiting Kenya next month to find out what resources and supplies the children need in the school and villages, and then return to Mukilteo to start collecting them.
Tiffany and Heather have raised $5,000 for their trip. Their largest fundraiser was a Zumba event at the Mukilteo Boys & Girls Club, which raised more than $700.
“We received a lot of community support and it was fun to see all those people come support our organization,” Tiffany said. “It was people who we didn’t even know who showed up.
“It was exciting to meet them and talk about our organization.”
The following summer, they plan to go back to Kenya to deliver the supplies along with other Kamiak students. They hope to inspire their peers to join in their cause – and even inspire them to make a difference in their own community.
“It would be amazing to be able to share everything we’re doing with other students,” Heather said. “To see other people change as they focus less on themselves and more on others, would be really inspiring.”
For more information, or to donate to Bold Futures, go to www.boldfutures.org.
LaVendrick Smith is an intern for The Mukilteo Beacon.