Bianca Becerra, Oak Park High School, California

You don’t see selfless acts every day. Most people only do things if they, themselves directly benefit from it. The Yuda Bands Project is changing that. Many youth have looked beyond themselves to help others.

The Yuda Bands Project attracts passionate, service-oriented, student leaders. Selfless teenagers that want to help. The kind of teenagers that will assist without expecting reward or praise.

Together we are stronger.

Thousands of teenagers have rallied behind the Yuda Band Project’s cause. They help willingly, without compulsion or hesitation. They do it because of their desire to improve the world and because they know that what they’re doing matters.

We meet thousands of student leaders every year. One of these outstanding students is Bianca Becerra.

 

SUCCESS INSPIRES SUCCESS

Bianca Becerra is a 17-year old senior at Oak Park High School and the co-president of the school’s Key Club

For Bianca, her Yuda Bands journey started last summer. The Oak Park High School Key Club, along with other School Key Clubs in the area, were invited to participate in a Ventura County Board of Directors meeting. The organizers asked the students to share their experiences as Key Club Officers.

That’s where Bianca and the other Oak Park Key Club officers first heard of the Yuda Bands Project.

Dani Moors if Newbury Park High School shared her incredible experience with the Yuda Bands Project. Bianca was inspired and wanted to do the same for her key club.

AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE DOESN’T COME OFTEN…

As the new school year started, the Oak Park Key Club’s population nearly doubled thanks to a successful club rush that the Key Club Officers organized.

To others, it may seem daunting to oversee so many people. But to Bianca, she saw this large increase in members as an opportunity.dddd

“I knew we had the potential to enact large scale change and truly make a difference. Further, I wanted our club to retain members and help them feel involved and invested in our organization.” Bianca said.

She revisited the thought of starting the Yuda Bands Project. She saw it as the perfect opportunity to change someone’s life while unifying and motivating the club in the process.

HOW ONE SELFLESS ACT BROUGHT A COMMUNITY TOGETHER

The Oak Park High School Key Club Officers chose to sponsor Fredy Lozano, a 14-year old student from Guatemala. Fredy had the willingness to attend school. However, his parents didn’t have the money to send him.


The Key Club needed to sell 565 Yuda Bands to finance Fredy’s entire education through high school graduation.

“I still remember carrying the box of shipped bands and fully grasping that I held Fredy’s future in my hands,” Bianca told us.

Bianca was passionate about helping Fredy. She had advertised weeks before they started selling. Bianca promoted the project in her community, school, relatives, businesses, organizations, and other clubs.

Bianca made sure Fredy’s story, and the project’s cause was the focal point in their advertising.

Bianca’s passionate pursuit didn’t go in vain. A local business sponsored her,  editors published Bianca’s project in the school’s parent newsletter, and the Oak  Park High School Interact Club even committed themselves to help.

WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK, ALMOST 400 BANDS WERE SOLD…

These organizations and publications spread awareness building buzz early on. People were excited, they loved the designs, and more importantly the cause behind it. Needless to say, the project caught on quick.

The Oak Park High School started selling on November 2. Within the first week, almost 400 bands were sold.

“Members were so involved in the project. One girl single-handedly sold 80 bands,” she said.

“There were also some students that weren’t Key Club members who wanted to join the Yuda Bands Project,” she added.

THERE IS NO RAINBOW WITHOUT A LITTLE RAIN

Bianca is an excellent leader. She is organized, decisive, and a great example. She is also down to earth, compassionate and always puts others first.

These traits shined as she managed the Yuda Bands Project. If issues arose, she identified them and sought for solutions. She saw problems as challenges and not hindrances.

MEMBER MANAGEMENT

The biggest problem they encountered was the Key Club’s population. Bianca knew she and the other officers couldn’t possibly handle all their members. So they asked the school’s Interact Club to help.

The Oak Park High School Key Club and Interact Club managed to create an innovative strategy to sell Yuda Bands.

Together, they were able to delegate the selling properly, the accounting, and gamified the progress by creating “team standings.”

“We decided that we would divide our club into 18 different groups consisting of about 6-9 people per group; each group would be led by one team officer. Each officer passed out manila envelopes to their members, which contained a log for sales, contract of responsibility, and two bands for them to sell.”

Bianca made it easy for her members. As a result, each member knew how the strategy would work. More importantly, she made the entire Key Club feel they were part of something special.

COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS

Aside from numbers, Key Club members also faced communication problems early on.

“Lack of communication was a problem. Some members held to unsold bands until the end of the project. They didn’t return them early on.”

Due to poor communication, there was a shortage of bands. They also had a hard time giving customers the design they wanted.

The Key Club officers quickly remedied the situation. They created an exchange policy. If a customer didn’t get the design they wanted, they can go to the principal’s office and exchange it for a different design once new bands were delivered to the school.  The original bands of course needed to be in unworn condition.

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL STUDENT-LED FUNDRAISER…

The results of the Oak Park High School’s Yuda Bands Project was outstanding. They raised a total of $3,994.

“Every time I see that number I am blown away by all we have accomplished and re-assured of the tangible difference we are able to make.”

Bianca’s Yuda Bands Project became the most successful student-led fundraisers at Oak Park High School. Through that experience, she honed her leadership skills, learned teamwork, had a better sense of community and had a better idea of the impact of selfless service.

“I am so grateful to the Yuda Bands organization for making this experience possible for my members and I…”

“It has forever changed my view on service and affirmed the capability of students like me to enact real change in real people’s lives.”

The real prize, however, was how it unified Bianca’s Key Club, inspired the community and forever changed Fredy Lozano’s life.

“I was able to witness our small town of Oak Park mobilize and unify– teachers, students, neighbors and businesses alike– to sell almost 600 bracelets, funding Fredy’s entire education.”

We asked Bianca if she had a message to Fredy. She did and this is what she said:

Throughout the two weeks we sold bands, your story touched so many. You have inspired our club and our community. Know that we are all supporting you in your future endeavors and that the bands we wear are a testament and affirmation to your capability and potential as a student and change maker. We all believe in you!

 

A SELFLESS ACT = GREAT IMPACT

Bianca’s story is an excellent example of how one selfless act can make a great impact. The Yuda Bands Project didn’t only change Fredy’s life, it also changed the lives of everyone involved and the people around them.

It only took one selfless act.

You, too, can do what Bianca did.

Donate your old books. Give to charity. Commit to doing one act of kindness a day.

Or you can start your own Yuda Bands Project. Checkout this page to see a step by step guide on how to get started.

Fredy Lozano is one of the thousands of students that have benefited from the Yuda Bands project. There are more students like him here. Help us break the poverty cycle and give underprivileged students the education they deserve.

Learn more about the Yuda Bands Project today!

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