KERN COUNTY, Calif. — You’re never too young to start changing the world, and a club at Independence High School is dedicated to doing just that.
“Our club’s mission is to get students involved as much as possible in the community in Bakersfield, California, but not only that, as well as international organizations. We want to advocate for making a change, creating peace and making the world a better place one step at a time," said Independence High School junior Niam Edralin.
Niam first joined the United Nations Club her freshman year but the club was discontinued. It was experiences the club had given her, like volunteering with children at a homeless shelter, that inspired her to restart the club this year as its president.
The United Nations Club is dedicated to giving back to communities locally and internationally, and despite the pandemic, the club has still hosted several virtual events this year.
“Even though that we are in this pandemic, we really try to just work with what we have," said Niam.
October 24 was United Nations Day, and the club had students and teachers put together a slideshow, teaching others about their different cultures.
“I thought that was a very cool experience because I got to learn a couple new things about my friends and their culture, as well as our teachers. They even participated so it was really fun," said Niam.
They also recently hosted a virtual literacy event where club members read books to elementary school students over Zoom.
Niam said the pandemic did put a pause on a book drive for children in the Philippines but she’s determined to make the event happen eventually as she has a personal connection to it. Niam was born in the Philippines and her mother runs an elementary school there.
“When I went to the Philippines two summers ago, I saw how they’re just not as privileged as us and it was very humbling and I really wanted to give back to my hometown," she said.
Niam said she’s grateful for the other club members who are equally dedicated to giving back to people across the world and she’s looking forward to future events that allow her to further connect with others.
“The most fulfilling thing for me, personally, is being able to give back because I feel like that’s just really my calling to give back to as many people as possible," she said.
We’re always looking for the next person to feature in Kern’s Kindness. If you have someone in mind, email us your idea at firstname.lastname@example.org