PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Many people have been putting their unique skills to work stepping up to help during the pandemic, including students in the Portland area.
Rye Scholin and Zumee Hasan attend St. Mary’s Academy and are members of the school’s robotics team. They had extra time on their hands after their season was abruptly canceled due to the coronavirus so they formed a group called “Portland Student Pandemic Response.”
“We saw all of these Portland students sitting at home with so much energy and drive at the same time that aid organizations were facing an influx of people in need and having problems meeting that need,” said Rye.
Rye and Zumee launched a website and started reaching out to learn more about the needs in their community.
“We contacted the NICU of Doernbecher, Transition Project, Blanchet House,” said Zumee. “We contacted a lot of hospitals, shelters, food banks.”
Other students could then search the PSPR website to find out about opportunities to help.
“We host a variety of service opportunities ranging from donations to sewing face masks. Also more unique things such as creating a social media campaign getting the word out where Portland public students need to find food,” Rye said. “Or a personal favorite which is we’re having a lot of students read story books to children of essential workers and we’re hosting all of them on a playlist on our YouTube.”
Any middle or high school student in the Portland metro area can participate. Rye and Zumee told KOIN 6 News their site has so far received thousands of hits.
“We hope students can use their extra time and energy and dedicate it toward making a difference and connecting it to the community they are a part of,” said Rye.
The Portland Student Pandemic Response will host a program this summer to give students the opportunity to focus on group projects. Click here to learn more.