Books for Books

I am the founder and president of our 501(c)3 nonprofit and also the author of the book that is used for our cause currently.

Photo of Jessica Singh
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Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

11/07/03

Help us stay in touch!

4259997310 Washington: Sammamish (98074)

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Establishing an online presence is one of the future goals of our newly formed nonprofit.

Date You Started Your Project Started

03/10/19

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

While we consider education as a basic right for kids in developed countries, most kids in developing countries cannot even dream of studying. In India alone, 75.6% of families live below the poverty line, making it hard for kids to attend school. Due to lack of money and government support, 50% of these students cannot afford textbooks causing high dropout rates. To ensure today’s generation has a bright future, every child should be educated.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Books for Books is a nonprofit that supports literary works of young authors to collect funds to purchase books for financially-disadvantaged children who want to study at schools that we have partnered-up with in developing countries. Currently, Books for Books is in its preliminary stages of execution, and hence, solely relies on the sales of the poetry collection book that I published, which is then used to fund for textbooks for children in a primary school based in Bangalore, India. We frequently conduct informational and book selling events at local schools and libraries where we go over our vision, impact, and most importantly, scope of community contribution, which empowers and encourages to join our efforts. This way they are able to dream bigger than just finishing homework for the night and instead use their skills to market events, manage sales, and forge new partnerships locally and internationally or their published literary works to contribute to our funds. Then these students bring education to their similar driven counterparts, who without this initiative would drop out before graduating elementary school due to the increasing cost of textbooks each year.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

When I overheard our maid, Lakshmi, talking about how her kids were going to drop out as she could not afford the textbooks, I was shocked. As a privileged 6th grader in India who had thought of school as a birth right, I never knew there were kids who were not guaranteed education. Since I moved to the U.S, that memory and has been very close to my heart. Last year, as my friends and I were talking about how school is boring, this incident was brought back to my mind. I was surprised how the same education that Lakshmi’s kids yearned for, was what we were complaining about. Hence, I decided to change this saddening reality and ignorant attitude, starting with myself. I used my love for literature to publish my poetry collection book, ‘Stepping Inside’ and used the funds collected to provide textbooks for Lakshmi’s children and others that would love to go to school like I do.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

The adults of tomorrow have dreams to change the world. Some of them want to become doctors, engineers, and interior designers; some want to leave a lasting impact by helping others. With Books for Books, students will be the ones who will bring education to their peers with the help of books. which will empower kids to help their peers and pursue their ambitions by receiving a chance to receive education.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Samina is a 10-year old girl, who wants to become a doctor because she loves learning science at school. She is a bright student, whose mother is a lunch lady, and father is a taxi driver. This year her family’s budget has been stretched thin because of the expensive medicines that her father has to take due to his illness. She goes to school every day fearing that next year these shiny textbooks that she carries will disappear. One day, she hears about the Books for Books program that will be providing free textbooks. Her and her family are ecstatic that she will get to study Biology next year in middle school and that her father can take a day off to rest. Behind Samina’s education are Jessica, a junior, who is a contributing published author, and Esther, a senior, who is the marketing head of the team, both wanting to make a change by helping their peers go to school, just like them.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

While other similar programs are run by corporations, our nonprofit is entirely reliant on the management, funding, outreach, and spirit of students wanting to make a change. We use literary works of young published authors to promote literacy in developing countries. Books for Books is an innovative nonprofit that supports student writers and improves education in rural areas, unlike organizations that only target one. Through this we are able to empower the youth to bring education to their peers and students who cannot afford school to become educated: ‘Education for students, by students’.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Since March 2019, we have been able to conduct 3 major marketing events and 10 book-selling events at various local libraries and schools. Through these efforts we have been able to gather 1200 USD and strengthen our team that consists of a captain and marketing /logistics head, who are both passionate high schoolers wanting to give the gift of education to all children. With this amount, we purchased 500 standardized textbooks for 350 4th and 5th graders, who came from low-income families, in a school in Bangalore, India. We were grateful to have had the opportunity to ship these books to India and receive personal letters of appreciation from the students who without Books for Books would have discontinued going to school. By the end of the year, we plan on visiting and attending the school along side the students to see the smiles on their faces and form new connections.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

In the future, we would love to form partnerships with non-profit organizations like Young Authors Foundation that support other published young authors to increase our funds which will allow us to expand to schools in India and developing countries in Africa. We have already begun talking with schools in Punjab, India, and are planning to supply textbooks to 2000 students. Our nonprofit is truly making an impact in the lives of these students and has the potential to change many more. Hence, we also want to welcome students that can lead this initiative in different countries to increase our global presence. Next year, we are also planning on launching a campaign that specifically focuses on educating and providing free textbooks to girls

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Marketing Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Article in the news

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 30%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 10%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 10%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 10%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 20%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 10%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 10%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 10%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 28.6%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 14.3%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 10%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 10%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

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We need more kids like you. Go for it!

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