As cases begin to soar due to COVID-19, many schools have opted to move their spring semester to distance (online) learning. This has made circumstances very difficult, especially for low-income families.
Students who once relied on school resources no longer have access to them. In addition, many families are currently facing difficulty maintaining a steady source of income, making it hard for them to prioritize school supplies for their children’s distance learning. With this in mind, Susanna Lau and Lana Nguyen co-founded SupplyHopeInfo in order to tackle these issues.
As low-income high school students, Lau and Nguyen understand the hardships these communities face, such as the struggle to afford adequate school supplies. Lau and Nguyen are fortunate enough to have been accepted into Minds Matter San Francisco, a non-profit college prep program, which has helped them overcome academic barriers associated with being underprivileged. However, Lau and Nguyen acknowledge that others may not have this support and want to give back to the community, especially in these times of need.
SupplyHopeInfo aims to help low income students overcome educational challenges by providing them with resources they need to achieve academic success. SupplyHopeInfo has worked with family support organizations, like APA Family Support Services, to better understand family needs and fulfill them through the distribution of school supplies (pencils, notebooks, erasers, etc.).
In addition to helping students academically, SupplyHopeInfo has reached out to organizations with similar goals to help those struggling financially and compiled a list of resources available to everyone, including food pantries, ways to receive supplemental money, and COVID-19 testing sites. To bring awareness to these challenges, they also share on their website interviews with students who face educational or financial struggles .
Thanks to the support from wonderful donors, SupplyHopeInfo was able to raise $4,000 to help more than 100 students across the Bay Area. Using these donations, Lau and Nguyen were also able to deliver school supplies to Rose Haven, a nonprofit organization based in Portland that helps women and children improve their livelihood. Some of their funds went to the Macau True Goodwill General Association to support underprivileged children in China as well.
Their website has a wide variety of resources for those seeking support, anything from COVID-19 testing sites to food bank locations. Under the blogs section, they have students who share stories about their experience with education or being low income. These interviews are aimed to bring awareness to what it is like to be a low-income student and create a community for those who are struggling financially.
Lana Nguyen, Co-founder, SupplyHopeInfo
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