Tackling Income Inequality by Babysitting

Over the summer, three students from Sidwell Friends attended the Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI) at Punahou School in Hawaii. This two-week program, which took place in July, brought together more than 80 students from 10 different countries. Participants gained global perspective by interacting with students from different countries and made life-long friends.

Each year SGLI has a theme, and this year it was inequity. Speakers, activities, and community service were integrated into the program around this theme. Students worked with mentors to develop a project to address inequity in their own communities.

For their project, Alan Zhang ’17, LinDon Harris ’16, and Esha Chaudhuri ’17 spent time reaching income inequality.

"During the final phase of SGLI, we, as a school group, were tasked with creating a project to address an inequity in our community. We worked with experienced mentors and heard from entrepreneurs who had experience managing their own projects and who helped us plan and refine our ideas,” said Alan.

Esha continued, "While we were researching for our project, we found out that DC has the highest rate of income inequality of any state in the country. We also found out that 21 percent of DC households are single-parent families that live below the poverty line. We therefore decided to focus our project on providing babysitting services for underserved families that would not be able to access or afford those services otherwise.”

“On the last day, we presented our idea to the entire SGLI group," said Alan.

“When we returned to DC, we wanted to put our work into action,” said LinDon. “To do this, we are working with organizations like FAPAC and DC127, which perform similar work. We really need help from students from Sidwell Friends to be successful in this, so if you have babysitting experience, enjoy working with children, or need to complete your community service hours, we will be sending out an e-mail soon telling you how you can get involved," said Esha.

The students plan to launch their initiative in January 2016.

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