My name is Bobby Chajson, and I am a junior at Fox Chapel Area High School, in Pittsburgh, PA. This past year, I have undertaken a project involving Juvenile Diabetes. Recently, a very close family friend of mine, Rachel Tobin (age 14), was diagnosed with type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. Rachel started an organization called Designs for a Cure, through which she designs and sells bracelets to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Each bracelet Rachel has designed is sold for $25.00 and is composed of glass beads, decorative spacers, and a sterling silver hope charm – which symbolizes Rachel’s hope for a cure.
I have started my own company called Embrace Hope, through which I market and sell Rachel’s bracelets to retail stores and hospital gift shops. I have done business with hospital CEO’s, major Pittsburgh retail store owners, and boards of directors, and the bracelets have sold incredibly well throughout the city of Pittsburgh. Embrace Hope’s rising success has allowed me the chance to manage a flourishing charitable enterprise as well as raise over $3,000 for JDRF and produce thousands in retail sales. Embrace Hope has placed the bracelets in several retail stores, as well as in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) hospital gift shops. The bracelets are beautiful and make wonderful gifts. Furthermore, most of us know someone affected by diabetes, and people embrace the opportunity to contribute to this worthy cause.
Because the bracelet sales have been so successful, I am looking to expand on a national level. Having just returned from a visit to the University of Pennsylvania, I believe it would be an excellent market to test sales, given the high concentration of young, socially active students. I am very interested in the area and the Plum Grant would provide me with the capital to start the expansion and raise even more money for JDRF. If awarded the grant, I would be able to freely send bracelet samples to national business chains and advertise the bracelets through various forms of media, on a national level. I am very passionate about Embrace Hope, and I truly believe that this is an incredible opportunity for both JDRF and my foundation. Thank you very much for your consideration.