Don’t stop me now: students respond to COVID-19


Photos provided by Avery Liu and HSYAT

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS: Local students take the time to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts by making care packages and masks.

Pranav Gaddam and Rachel Gima

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northwood community has organized various relief efforts to aid fellow citizens through programs such as the High School Youth Action Team (HSYAT) and Miracle for Youth as well as individual students reaching out to the community.

One such individual is sophomore Avery Liu, who decided to give back to the workers at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) after recovering from a major surgery there, which prevented her from competing on Northwood’s Varsity Swim Team this year. However, Liu utilized the team’s spirit by leading her teammates in creating gift bags for workers on the surgical floor.

“Through this drive, our team managed to come together and do something that would greatly help those fighting on the front lines,” Liu said. “I wanted us to give back to the hospital staff because they are sacrificing their time, effort and lives to help us. Our team can no longer see each other during practice or cheer for one another at meets, but what we can do is come together as a team and support healthcare workers.”

Similar efforts have come from HSYAT, which has been supporting essential workers through various service projects, creating tokens of gratitude such as thank-you cards and homemade masks for essential workers.

“HSYAT wants to continue contributing to the community, and even a pandemic can’t diminish the passion we have towards bettering the world,” HSYAT class representative junior Ayushi Bhardwaj said. “There are workers out there who need our direct help as well as emotional support and encouragement, and we try to appreciate all of their sacrifices in our own simple ways.”

Along with supporting essential workers, students have rallied to help children achieve academic success despite the challenges that come with Emergency Distance Learning.

One example is Miracle for Youth, which provides free tutoring services for elementary school students through Zoom. They have also partnered with Interlude Musical Outreach to provide free music lessons to elementary school students.

“We were able to work together and create a change in our community through our passion to help students receive educational opportunities,” Miracle For Youth Executive Director sophomore Justin Kim said.

These initiatives are simply a few of the numerous efforts that have been established within the student body that aim to support, thank and give back to the community.

“Together, we know that whatever obstacle that comes will be overcome,” Kim said. “Because in our organization, miracles happen.”