Julia Day, a sophomore at La Jolla Country Day School, is hoping to make a difference in her community and the world through her non-profit Support All Kids.
The Carmel Valley teenager is working to raise funds and awareness for the Monarch School, a San Diego education center for homeless youth that serves up to 350 students a day, as well as a school in her hometown of Changsha, China.
Julia got the idea for her organization while living in China last July, spending the summer with her father who lives there. Walking down the street, she saw children selling keychains among all the street vendors.
.“I was interested because I’d never seen someone so young selling something,” Julia said.
She stopped to talk to the kids and learned they lived in the Changsha No. 1 Social Welfare Institute, an orphanage and school that is low on funding so kids took to selling money to buy clothing and school supplies.
“I was shocked and I didn’t know there was such a thing,” she said.Julia was invited to come to the school for a visit, meeting the orphaned and abandoned children at the institute, many of whom have disabilities.
“It was touching,” Julia said. “I was in awe so I felt the need to try and help them.”
Julia took some of the kids’ keychains and sold them in her father’s building, making about $200 on her first day. Throughout a “sweltering” summer in China, she raised a total of $5,000 and presented the school with shoes, clothing, school supplies, a washer and dryer, and basic necessities that they needed. She also donated money that she had earned working to sponsor one of the students to go to college.
Julia returned to San Diego inspired, determined to find a place to direct her efforts at home.
“I found Monarch School downtown and just started helping them. They need as much help as they can get,” Julia said.
Through hosting garage sales, clothing drives and general fundraising drives, Julia has raised money and donated clothing to Monarch, last visiting the school in December. She has most enjoyed seeing the excitement on the children’s faces when she gave them items such as crayons and markers.
What she has noticed most is the stark difference between Monarch School’s small playground and classroom compared to her own campus at La Jolla Country Day.
“It’s crazy to me because not even 25 minutes away from my school there’s a school like that,” Julia said.
Julia’s goal is to keep supporting Monarch School as long as she can and continue to expand her efforts with Support All Kids internationally. She already has five student members working with her organization in China. And she hopes to inspire others to help those in need when they can.
“I want to raise awareness about the Monarch School because everyone needs to be more knowledgeable about our city and what’s going on,” Julia said. “I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t look.”
Learn more at supportkidsforall.org