Uplift Alumnus Helps Organize School Supply Drive

Primary scholars at Uplift Peak were in for a wonderful surprise as students from SMU showed up to their school armed with bags full of school supplies. 

The school supply drop off was initiated by Ethan Rios, a junior at SMU and an Uplift alumnus. Ethan, a graduate from Uplift Infinity back in 2018, is part of the Détente Collective, a non-profit organization founded by SMU students that strives to give communities what they need to foster positive social, educational, economic, and personal growth. The name originates from the French word détente meaning a release from tension. 

Ethan was joined at Uplift Peak Primary by two other members of the Détente Collective, Reagan McGinnis and Isis Kazadi. Together, they were able to collect enough school supplies to last the rest of the year and into the following school year.  

“Given the current climate, there’s been a lot of division and we want to be an organization where people feel we’re making a difference and relieving that,” said Reagan. “There’s so much to be done within the city, you don’t have to go very far, it’s in your own backyard.” 

Having participated in donation drop offs and supply drives for women and children, homeless people and other schools, Ethan wanted to do something similar for an Uplift school. 

“Education is something that I am super passionate about,” said Ethan. “Now that I’m in college, I reflect and think, what if I would have had this or heard that when I was younger, it would have made me a stronger student and a better individual.” 

Mrs. Harper, the Academic Director at Uplift Peak Primary, facilitated a tour of the campus so scholars could say thank you and ask questions about college. 

“We always talk to our scholars about the importance of never forgetting where they came from and giving back to their communities, and this is a perfect example of that,” said Mrs. Harper, Academic Director at Uplift Peak Primary. 

Ethan hopes to build off this and potentially create a regular cadence whether that consists of more school supply drop offs, community service at an Uplift campus, or even developing a mentorship program. 

“This is our fifth outreach we’ve done for a local school, and we look forward to continuing to reach out to schools in the area and finding out what they need,” Ethan said. “Whether its supplies, students or someone to talk to, we want to better prepare their students for when they head off to college and into the real world.” 

Visit their website https://www.thedetentecollective.org to learn more about what they’re doing and how you can help. 

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