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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Mask

The Journey So Far — Texas

At the start of this pandemic, I was barely engaged and I spent my days doing the same thing in a cycle, on a boring repeat. However, COVID-19 also gave me the opportunity to explore student-led nonprofits with a variety of initiatives I wanted to be a part of.

I started out in organizations with a range of missions from English to STEM before I felt I was ready to step up into leadership positions and make a difference myself. I highly regarded the people of these organizations I was a member of and wished to lead as they do.

Altruism came into my life unexpectedly through cold-emailing in November of 2020. Dedicated to promoting literacy, the organization organizes book and school supply drives to help low-income communities around the world. After a few meetings with the current officers, I quickly realized that this was something I wanted to be a part of. Soon enough, I found myself as the Altruism Chapter President for the Houston Branch. Funnily, I had a bit of doubt once I got the position but was encouraged all the more in order to further the initiative.

School-wise, I had to get my time management together in order to give my all. It was hard to juggle, but doable.

COVID-19 definitely raised a lot of concerns with starting up and doing things safely. Especially in a very condensed city such as Houston with millions of cases in the city alone, success was not promised and very unstable. Even I was personally affected through the people around me and saw the virus’ effects firsthand. However, the virus helped us utilize social media to the best of our advantage and think outside of the box when brainstorming strategies to collect books.

I definitely learned a lot already, despite how new I am as a President and how recent the organization is as a whole. While we’re still working on our kickoff event for February, I was overwhelmed by the support of other organizations and will continue to keep pursuing knowledge through my journey in Altruism.

— Leona Alonso, 16

Houston, Texas


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