Youth Making a Difference – Santana

Santana, at age 10 in fourth grade, recently transitioned with her mother and sister from homelessness to permanent housing. Her mother shared that Santana passionately discussed the effects the pandemic had on their lives. She reflected on their struggles and how they could still be homeless and living in a car if someone had not reached out to help them. Santana wanted to help make a difference for people who are homeless, as she had been. She told her mother those without permanent housing could stay healthy, and avoid contracting COVID-19, if they had more food and hygiene items. She asked her mother and sister for help going into the city to collect cans. She used the money they earned by selling them to buy food and toiletries. She and her family packed these goods into care kits and delivered them to people who were homeless in her community. Over time, this work became a passion and she prioritized can collection every weekend. Her dream to be of service became real. She prays now more young people will support her in making a positive difference.