I have always had an interest in innovation and a strong desire to create devices of substantial effect on the state of our environment and global humanitarian standards. Passionate about advocating for equal opportunity and education.
In fall of 2016, I created a charity called VitalPacks. The organization gives care packages to the homeless population, with a primary focus on individuals living on the streets. At the end of our winter season, we had about 50 packages available, and we decided to contact a school in the South Shore area of Chicago, an area we worked in often, and asked them if we could organize a way to help some of their students. This was a local public elementary school under the Chicago Public School System. This city’s school district currently has over 18,117 homeless students, a growing rate yet with a declining district enrollment, per Chicago Coalition for the Homeless . As the largest school district in the state of Illinois, Chicago Public school (CPS) is responsible for providing education for 396,683 students. With 664 total schools under the district regulations, poverty distribution is startling, with 86.02 percent of the total student body being low-income per U.S. Department of Education . The majority of these students are put at a major disadvantage academically and socially, by being forced to attend the lowest 15 percent of elementary schools and high schools in the nation , which usually can’t even bring students up to the national grade-level standards. Academically, these inner-city children, from lower-income areas, are put at a much higher environmental disadvantage than their peers in the suburbs, such as Winnetka, or even city children from a middle-high income neighborhood. While historic discrimination on certain communities may have contributed to this, it would be ignorant to assume that de facto segregation is the sole contributor to this problem. De jure segregation, treatment occurring based on law, is the true illicit in the academic disadvantage of these poor students.