KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A class assignment is helping a group of University of Tennessee students pay it forward to next generation in Knoxville.
Five for Thrive is a group of five sophomores who are working together with Thrive Lonsdale to raise money for STEM supplies. Thrive is a Christian-based organization that provides care and supplies for at-risk children in Knoxville.
Robbie Rettig, Sebastian Lavarreda, Namrata Ghare, Jada Tun and Jack Belt are running an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise $1,000 through Dec. 7. The donations will help improve the well-being and academic success of the children at Thrive Lonsdale, which serves 250 children a day.
The afterschool program offers STEM electives that let children explore new scientific discoveries and foster innovation and critical thinking.
“They did a little experiment where they made lava lamps and so they had baby oil and water and threw AlkaSeltzers and food coloring and so just being able to purchase those supplies and make sure the kids are still staying curious, still staying interested in science and math I think is really important,” said Ghare.
The students advocating for Thrive say their real-world group project has taught them the importance of supporting initiatives that open doors for kids who might not otherwise have the chance.
“Knoxville is built on its youth and it’s very important that we give these children the opportunities that a lot of other kids have through STEM programs and other things. So that’s why we’ve been putting all of our resources and time in order to make this campaign to help these kids out and to give them the opportunities that a lot of other kids are getting,” said Rettig.
You can find the fundraising campaign on Indiegogo by searching Five for Thrive or visiting indiegogo.com/projects/five-for-thrive#/ to donate and learn more.