Kari Ebens, Byron High School, Illinois

All great accomplishments started with humble beginnings.

It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, fast or slow, rich or poor, live in a small town or a metropolis — you can achieve your goals (no matter how high) if you’re determined enough.

That’s something Mrs. Kari Ebens and her students proved during their Yuda Bands Project.

Kari Ebens is a Mathematics teacher and the student council advisor at Byron High School, Illinois. She learned about the Yuda Bands Project through her students.

“My students attended several events throughout the years and that is where we heard about the yuda bands,” she said.

For years, they wanted to start a project that had meaning. A project that had a great cause. Once they learned more about the Yuda Bands Project, they knew that was it. They had to be part of the Yuda Bands movement.

“…the excitement caused the project to be a huge success.”

Mrs. Ebens made sure their participation did not go to waste. She organized one of the most productive Yuda Bands Project in 2016.

In fact, they had almost sold 100 bracelets before their two weeks sales period started.

How did they do that?

By building excitement around the Yuda Bands!

The pre-sales started with the students putting up posters around the school. They wanted to raise awareness about the project and the meaning behind the bracelets. After that, they sold through word of mouth by talking to faculty and other students.

The success continued to their sales period. All thanks to Mrs. Eben organization and supervision behind the scenes.

They did hit some roadblocks. Some students took too long to pick their Yuda Bands. So she made Yuda Bands presentable and easy to see.

“I choose to take the Yuda Bands and organize them onto pool noodles cut in half. This gave the bracelets a display look and then people could find what they wanted,” she said.

“We also organized the bracelets into categories….all the elephants were put together and others in this way. People were so happy to see those displays,” she continued.

Aside from schools, they also sold in lots and many schools.

Mrs. Ebens’ daughter also helped. Her 8th-grade daughter took some Yuda Bands to her elementary school. A few days later, Mrs. Ebens and her students were allowed to sell to elementary kids.

They made the bracelets available to elementary students in two ways. The first was through an order process at the school. During lunch, the student can pick out their bracelets. The second way was displaying the Yuda Bands during their sock hop.

Social media was also an integral part of their success. By simply posting pictures, they were able to reach a wide audience.

“…people in the community were ordering them this way (through Facebook) and kids were coming to my classroom during other times of the day to get the ones they wanted,” Mrs. Ebens told us.

After two weeks, Kari Ebens and Byron High School were able to sell 893 Yuda Bands. They were able to sponsor two international students from Guatemala.

Irene Makore – one of the students Byron High School sponsored

“…I was afraid we would not sell enough for our first student.”

You don’t know what you’re capable of until you try. The Yuda Bands Project is glad that Kari Ebens and her students continued despite the fear.

When faced with challenges, the best action is to do your best. You either win or you learn. There is no loss.

If you do persevere and win, sometimes you achieve higher goals than you originally set…

“When we started this project I was afraid we would not sell enough for our first student. However, we made her goal and was able to help another student as well,” Mrs. Kari Ebens said.

Face your fears – because others are watching. Maybe you will be the spark that’ll ignite a passion in people. Just like what Byron High School did to its community.

“I feel that a small town can do big things. We were able to finish 2 students needs for band sales,” she said.

“My kids did not want to stop. They wanted me to have the bands all the time and just keep selling for the cause. Our community loved it because it was a good cause,” she added.

How about you?

When was the last time you tried?

When was the last time fear stopped you from achieving something great?

If you’re thinking of starting a service project or joining the Yuda Bands Project, but you’re afraid it won’t gain any traction, let us know.

We will help you make your service project succeed. Phillip Whiting, the Yuda Bands Project Manager, is more than willing to help you. Simply send us a message by clicking here.

 

 

 

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