Those lucky enough to have a little extra down time on their hands due to the ongoing pandemic have been finding different ways to spend it.
Some may have started a workout regimen they felt too tired to take on before while others may have tackled a few home improvement projects that were on their to-do lists.
One recent high school graduate had a different sort of project on her mind. Baldwin High School Class of 2020 Salutatorian Aisha Sobti recently launched a nonprofit organization aimed at providing school supplies for less fortunate students.
“I wanted to start this nonprofit because throughout my educational career I always had everything I needed for school,” Sobti said. “I had all my own supplies and resources, but I realized that not all kids had that same opportunity. I wanted to do something to fix that and maybe better our community. I’d been wanting to do a not-for-profit for a while that would help others. I’m really big on education, so I thought something like this would be perfect.”
Asked about the role education has played in her own life, Sobti replied, “Education has helped set me on a track to choose a career in which I can make a social impact for our community. In addition, education has helped me set goals for myself, and has provided me with a lot of opportunities for self-growth.”
Sobti believes that now was the right time to start this nonprofit, not just to help her be productive while at home, but also because K-12 students are preparing to take on an unprecedented school year. Many students will not return to their school buildings with the novel coronavirus still spreading substantially, so finding a way to get school supplies into their hands may be more important than ever.
“A lot of kids are having trouble, especially since we’re doing online learning,” said Sobti. “They’re having to adapt to this new situation, so I feel like the need is bigger now.”
Once enough funding comes in, Sobti plans to partner with local organizations, including the public school system, to get the school supplies into the hands of the students who need them most.
The 18-year-old is still in the early stages of the process, but has set up a GoFundMe page online to assist with fundraising. The effort is targeted towards helping only Baldwin County’s K-12 students for now, but Sobti hopes it can eventually grow both geographically and up into the college ranks if successful.
She has one other piece of important business to take care of while waiting on donations to roll in.
“I’m trying to come up with a name that sounds catchy and is also something no one else has,” Sobti said.
For now, the effort is labeled simply as “Not for profit-education” on the GoFundMe page.
The recent high school graduate has been accepted to and will attend Georgia Tech in the fall.
She plans on being an online-only student for her first semester, which means she will continue living at home, allowing more time for her to focus on this new nonprofit venture. She has selected economics as her major, one she thinks can help her in her mission to help others beyond college.
“For the longest time I didn’t know what I wanted to do for college,” she said. “I took my first economics class as a dual enrollment student at Georgia College and ended up really liking the subject. That helped me realize it’s probably what I want to do in the future. I feel like economics forces me to think more critically and could come in handy.”
For information on how to donate to Sobti’s nonprofit that will benefit local K-12 students, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the GoFundMe page at this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/2s4yv2-not-for-profit.