Aim High Alumna Making Change in Her Community
2020 will forever be the year that 2017 Aim High alumna Lana Nguyen became a changemaker. In the face of a global pandemic and the subsequent statewide school closures, 17-year-old Lana and her friend Susana Lau created SupplyHopeInfo, to raise money and provide school supplies for low-income families. “We wanted to be more active within our communities during COVID,” said Lana. “and once schools closed down, we knew that many families around us wouldn’t even have the most basic tools for at-home learning.” SupplyHopeInfo is a personal story, informed by Lana’s lived experience growing up in a low-income household in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood and the major impact that distance learning has had on her life. School was an outlet for Lana’s creativity and intellect, a reprieve from the studio apartment she shares with her parents, and a connection to resources, like school lunches and school supplies. “Learning at home is hard. I’m the type of learner who needs to have a lot of interaction… And there’s no room for me to study or have a quiet space because our bedroom is our living space.” After the San Francisco Chronicle featured Lana’s efforts, SupplyHopeInfo received a record number of donations. One reader was so moved by Lana’s story that he offered his unused office space for her studies, just in time for her senior year of high school and another semester of distance learning. To date, SupplyHopeInfo has raised $36,000 dollars to provide 600 students with school supplies, and grown their resource bank to include laptops and SAT books. Nearly 1,500 families are currently on the waiting list for school supplies—an example of the deep community need that Lana and Susana were quick to recognize, respond to and fill. “The fact that SupplyHope is so successful, and that our community is providing all of these opportunities for each other, gives me hope that I’ll be able to control where I go in life, and how successful I’ll be.” Later this year, Lana plans to apply to University of California schools and other private universities. Consider making a donation to SupplyHopeInfo today!