Cherry Creek Schools student aids communities and Foundation
“Well, if it can be thought, it can be done, a problem can be overcome,” ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly.
In the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic, great minds were compelled to awaken with solutions to problems in aid of those affected.
Great minds like Cherry Creek High School junior Stephen Zhang, with the help of his team and the surrounding community, have come together to solve a problem by raising thousands for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), distributing supplies and donating the remainder to the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation for education.
In mid-March when COVID-19 struck the United States, Zhang had met with his pediatrician who informed him about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) deficiencies in hospitals, which was confirmed by another doctor in their neighborhood and friends of the family.
“After learning about the critical situation, I felt responsible to step up and take action because as a member of the community, it is my duty to serve when needed,” Zhang said. “Additionally, health professionals were fighting the pandemic at the front lines while we stayed safe at home, so the least I could do was provide them ample resources to do their job effectively and safely.”
The 16-year-old and his team, Youth Creates, sprung to action to find a solution starting with a source to acquire funding and PPE for hospitals. Zhang’s team got to work raising money and utilized their family connections in China to help find a supplier for PPE, but the virus had put challenges in their way.
“The first challenge was purchasing masks since sometimes shipment took extended amounts of time,” Zhang said. “Additionally, we had to contact different vendors to purchase from to maintain a steady supply of masks.”
Zhang and his team were navigating a standard business process that had become difficult in the wake of the virus. Shipments overseas took time to reach the United States, supplies were limited around the world due to COVID-19 and with all of that the team itself was unable to meet in order to communicate properly.
“Zoom meetings were our main venue for communications and collaborations,” Zhang said, “and we held frequent zooms meetings to discuss assignments and tasks which turnout to be very effective.”
A lot of their work revolved around communications. Communications to vendors. Communications within the company. Communications to hospitals and clinics.
Despite these challenges, Zhang and his team found ways to persevere like many of the businesses during the pandemic; however, the key detail is these students are still attending Cherry Creek Schools.
In mid-August, they had raised $44,000 towards the cause and thousands of masks to doctors, nurses and others in hospitals and clinics that were working on the front lines to provide health services. The company donated to 23 hospitals.
“The overwhelming support from the community has been inspiring. The enthusiasm from the team was ecstatic and many team members donated from their personal savings to benefit the cause,” Zhang said.
Youth Creates spent $42,000 on PPE and had roughly $2,000 left over and still wanted to help the community, especially students, teachers and families that are struggling in these trying times.
They donated the remaining money to the Cherry Creek Schools Foundation with hopes of donating more in the future.
“The Cherry Creek Schools Foundation has done an outstanding job supporting the district and I wanted to make a humble donation to show my support,” Zhang said. “I hope the money donated will help teachers in particular since they are working overtime to overcome the challenges of quarantine while providing students with the same quality education.
Zhang and his team are continuing to raise money and purchase PPE for hospitals and would love any support the community is willing to offer.
For more information visit: www.youthcreates.com/fight-covid19
By Jeremy Chavez