In early February 2019, Yoobi had the chance to support Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to inspire kids to complete their education beyond high school. While on her book tour, Ms. Obama, through Reach Higher, paid a visit to students from the Gila River Indian Community, south of Phoenix, to hear stories about their life on the Reservation, challenges they’ve faced to get an education, and their plans for the future.
Native American communities are often disproportionately affected by socio-economic related struggles and mental health and addiction issues. Despite the high-need for support, resources and attention are often overlooked because of their geographic remoteness. Yoobi has recognized this need and supported our native communities with school supplies to ensure that students living on reservations have one less barrier to succeed in school with a previous commitment to provide supplies to 20k kids by 2020.
As we draw nearer to hitting our goal of supporting those students by the end of 2019, we have been preparing to renew our commitment. When we heard that Ms. Obama was going to a reservation on her book tour, we asked if we could help out again.
The amazing team at Reach Higher connected with Gila River’s Gov. Lewis to identify ways we could help. Gov. Lewis came back and let us know that there were over 900 elementary-aged students on the reservation and asked if we could send some supplies that were desperately needed.
The Yoobi team jumped into action and connected with our give partner, the Kids In Need Foundation, to make the necessary arrangements. Together, we sent Yoobi school supply sets for 1,500 kids, which covers the immediate classroom and student need, such as the community’s summer programming at the Huhugam Heritage Center and for regional homeless and foster youth.
And best of all, with the support of Ms. Obama and Reach Higher, we were able to announce our commitment to support 10,000 Native American students with free Yoobi school supplies every year going forward at the event.
At Yoobi, we believe that preparing for college starts by engaging our youngest students and ensuring they have the tools, love, and support to carry them forward every step of the way. We are so proud to have been a part of Ms. Obama’s visit to the Gila River Indian Community to raise awareness around the potential of the kids growing up on reservations and to ensure that school supplies will be there for them to grow, learn, and reach higher.
Photos courtesy of Gila River Indian Community