Juniors Avery Bloss, Maggy Hayes and Luke Miller | Photo courtesy EPISD
El Paso Youth for Change started with three Coronado juniors wanting to make a difference in their community during COVID, and has grown to become an official 501c3 non-profit with nearly 50 members.
Juniors Avery Bloss, Maggy Hayes and Luke Miller joined forces during the summer, first creating baggies with hygiene products to give to the homeless.
“That was the genesis of the organization,” Miller said. “We recognize that the need in the community was greater at a time when the service organizations in El Paso weren’t being as active. We wanted to be able to fill the gap.”
The students coordinated with the El Paso Community Foundation to become a 501c3 shortly after and have since created community service projects including Thanksgiving baskets, book drives and Easter baskets for kids. They’ve worked closely with El Paso Center for Children during COVID and are planning their next major project – a hygiene drive – with them this weekend.
“I’ve always loved community service,” said Bloss. “It’s honestly been so fun to do over the years.”
The initial idea for El Paso Youth for Change started with Bloss, who then drew in Hayes and Miller. Now, the non-profit has members from several high schools and even middle schoolers pitching in.
“Being able to start something and give back to the community is honestly really humbling,”
Bloss said. “It’s been an amazing experience to have so many people that help out and give back to the community.”
The three founders are continuing to recruit members though their Instagram @epyouthforchange and word of mouth to ensure their non-profit helps the community for years to come.
“We hope the members grow and we can pass it down to the group below us because we don’t want to stop after we graduate,” Hayes said. “It’s crazy to see how many people have joined. It’s not just our friends. It’s other schools, other grade levels.”
Miller added: “We want this organization to be as sustainable as possible and be a legacy here at Coronado.”
Details on the drop off location for their upcoming hygiene drive are available on their Instagram page @epyouthforchange. They are seeking toothbrushes, masks, hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes and other hygiene products to serve the full-serve youth shelter.