CCA students form 9213Zero Left Behind to support neighbors in need
A group of high school students have come together to support neighbors and help fight poverty in the 92130 area.
Known as 9213Zero Left Behind, Canyon Crest Academy juniors Arjun Pant, Schuyler Chao-Land, Ravi Achar, Paul Hoyt. Taylor Vu, Ryan Jabro and Katherine Kwon joined forces on their own as a Community Problem Solving group. The group was inspired by experiences with Future Problem Solving International—Katherine, Ryan and Ravi had all competed in Future Problem Solving competitions, as had Arjun’s sister.
“The aim is to find issues in your community and what you can do about it,” said Arjun, who recruited his closest friends to work on the project with him.
Paul said at first they considered helping San Diego’s homeless population but then they began to look closely at the low income housing in Carmel Valley: “It is more local and more connected to us,” he said.
His mother had volunteered with the local nonprofit 92130 Cares and the students learned that there were 18 low-income residential housing complexes scattered throughout the 92130 area, many of them overlooked by support groups as they are located in what most would consider an affluent community.
The group decided they would like to collaborate with 92130 Cares by bringing non-food donations to the weekly free farmers markets.
9213Zero Left Behind started collecting donations a few months ago, distributing flyers and bags in their neighborhoods. Ryan said the key is making it as easy as possible for people to contribute—they offer to pick up donations right from people’s doorsteps or people can opt to drop off bags at the UPS Store in Torrey Hills Shopping Center. The group collects donations of clothing, shoes, shampoo/conditioner, soap,toothbrushes and toothpaste, menstrual products and household products like dish soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper and paper towels.
They have been pleasantly surprised by the generosity of neighbors helping neighbors and have been struck by the impact it has, such as how appreciative people are for things like clearing supplies or a new toothbrush.
“I never thought about not being able to replace a toothbrush,” Paul said.
Ravi said they plan to continue their efforts until they graduate and pass it down for younger students to pick up. They additionally hope to start a club at school.
“It started out as a competition and it turned into something all of us enjoy,” Arjun said. “It’s really really rewarding. It turned into a passion project.”
Contact the group at firstname.lastname@example.org Donate to their cause at gofundme.com/f/neighbors-support-your-neighbors
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