The Problem

At-risk children in Durham, North Carolina experience hardships ranging from homelessness to abuse, and few if any of these incidents are their fault. While many students turn to drugs or gang violence, there is a population of kids with the heart and passion to avoid such behavior. OASIS aims to push these children’s comfort zones in a fun way and in a safe environment to stimulate character development.

Plan of Action

In creating OASIS, I partnered with the Durham Nativity School, a school run solely on donations, that gives scholarships to students based on merit. I also partnered with students from Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as students from my own school, Elon University. This fosters a sense of greater community not only between the students and the college-facilitators, but also between the communities of the three universities. In order to fund our first retreat, I applied for grants from my school. I also held two fundraisers. The first was teaching CPR classes to community groups such as Girl Scout troops and lifeguards (I am a certified CPR instructor and put all of the proceeds towards OASIS.) The second was selling OASIS "livestrong style" bracelets at Elon and Duke Universities, and at UNC Chapel Hill. I also was able to solicit food donations from various restaurants in order to provide meals during the retreat weekend. As far as impact goes, so far we have had our first retreat, which included archery, high ropes and low ropes team-building courses. The kids had a great time. The parents and teachers of the DNS kids were thrilled as well. We have begun fostering a great relationship, and sense of teamwork between OASIS and the Durham Nativity School, OASIS and local restaurants and vendors, and additionally the teamwork of communities of the three universities.

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