Abel Rodriguez’s Supply Drive Helps English Learners

Senior Abel Rodriguez Wins a Grant to Help His Cause

When coming to the United States, immigrants have close to no belongings with them. It can be extremely hard for them to buy necessities to survive. Clinton Public Schools has a growing immigrant student population. One day, Senior Abel Rodriguez wondered how he can provide resources for these families, so they can survive and thrive academically. To get supplies for these incoming students, Abel applied for a grant to a program called Griptape Challenger. According to Griptape, This program offers 14-19 year old students opportunities to pursue something they are passionate about learning. This program gives youth the power to learn how they want, funding to pursue their learning. 

Senior Abel Rodriguez
Senior Abel Rodriguez

To apply, he submitted a video talking about his cause and end goal. After being accepted, he was given a Griptape mentor to guide him throughout the process. With the mentor, he tried to meet with them every week or so and updated them on how far along he is in the process.  

Abel first got his idea for this drive from an awakening in his junior year. In his AP Government class, he looked around noticing that he was the only Hispanic in his class.  After further research, he discovered that Hispanic students are less likely to take high level classes due to a lack of resources. Especially for immigrant families that have just come to the United States, they don’t have any school supplies. Abel decided to get some resources for these families to get started. 

Abel relates to this issue on a personal level since his family is from out of the country. Abel explains “when you come to this country, all you’re thinking about is surviving. You’re not thinking about getting supplies and thriving in school.” Abel thought if he can provide some resources for these families, instead of trying to survive, they can thrive academically. 

Once this drive is over, the proceeds will be given to Joel and Eliot and be held in storage so if a student doesn’t have enough money to buy supplies, they can go in and take it. 

Additionally, Abel is working on a research project trying to find the biggest issue each immigrant family has when they come to the US. He is trying to find that one problem every new family faces and once he doesn’t, he will ponder a way to help them get on their feet. 

To donate school supplies, there is a clear bin in front of the office with tons of supplies already. The drive will end next week, so get your donations in soon! Another drive may be held at the end of the year for the upcoming school year in September 2023.