2016 ANNUAL REPORT

// A Year for the Books.

 
 

Starts with Soap wrapped up its first year as an organization and surpassed our wildest dreams. We conducted 4 national projects and grew to 173 members accross 12 high school and college chapters. 

 

// Who we are

 
 

Starts with Soap is comprised completely of youth; however, most of us are Coca-Cola Scholars, a group of 150 selected from a group of 90,000 applicants based on accomplishments and leadership abilities. Our Executive Board is comprised of students at the nation's elite universities, many of whom have already started their own nonprofits or have experience in executive positions of boards. Our regional managers and executives were selected based on leadership ability, work ethic, passion for education, experience managing projects as well as accomplishing goals far beyond their ages. As such, we maintain the belief that our youth is not a limiting factor in our ability to succeed and combat inequitable education.

 

 

 

That passion for making a difference lead to the creation of Starts with Soap, a national 501(c)(3) organization that utilizes supply implementation in order to develop large education initiatives for at-risk schools. Here at SWS, we are students working for students. The organization promotes the creation of chapters on high school and college campuses which work with local underprivileged schools, building sustainable relationships to promote equitable education through the “basics.” (hygiene products, school supplies, etc.)  In addition, Starts with Soap works on a national level, leveraging our network of like minded students to carry out projects with larger impact.

 

45.6%

of students eligible for freee and reduced lunch

42%

of schools do not have laptops

 

19%

High school graduates cannot read

13 M

students go to school hungry every day

 
 
 

// What we have done

 
 

What a whirlwind this past year has been for Starts with Soap. As your founders, we’d like to thank you for being part of it in any capacity you can, whether you made a donation, bought a t-shirt, or simply took some time to educate yourself on issues related to education equity. For more on how it all began, click here.

Our national team has seen a productive year, with the Deland Uniform Project, Computer LIteracy 4 Indy, and Detroit Literacy Project all making waves in communities across the United States. In Deland, FL., we were able to donate nearly 150 uniforms and 600+ school supplies to an elementary school in which 99 percent of students live below the poverty line. In Indianapolis, we partnered with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to provide a brand-new computer lab for students and senior citizens, along with thousands of school supplies. In Detroit, we ran a pilot version of our now fully-comprehensive literacy program for third graders at Bennett Elementary, and are excited to be rolling it out in full force come Fall 2017.

Beyond these, we are continuing to grow at the national level with nationwide projects that aim to provide health and science education to low-income and minority students through our Youth Nutrition & Diabetes Prevention and Starts with Science initiatives, with metrics and progress tracking done by our Project Evaluations Committee.

At the grassroots level, we’ve grown to include twelve chapters at major U.S. universities including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, and Vanderbilt University, just to name a few. Together, these chapters have raised over $7,000 and have brought countless smaller-scale projects to life in their respective local communities. With our motivated members and our intersectional, multi-faceted nationwide approach toward promoting education equity, we at Starts with Soap believe anything is possible.

 

Member Growth

SWS National Members

 
 
 

// The future 

 
 

We’ve had a successful first year as an organization, and are striving to make even greater waves in our mission to promote education equity as we move through 2017 and beyond. The heart of our organization may be in the east coast, but we’re hoping to expand our movement westward across the U.S. as we aim to double the number of chapters and ongoing projects, both at the chapter and national level. Last year, our national team raised a total of $12,000 outside of chapters, and we’re hoping to up that number to $18,000 by the end of 2018. We’re also working towards making our projects more issue-based and policy-driven, with a focus on research and goals of partnering with state and local governments to help bring about actual reform. The ultimate goal? Increase awareness amongst today’s youth, those individuals who still thrive under the U.S. education system -- after all, they’re the ones with the power to make the change that will define our future.

 
 
 

Equitable eduation starts with soap, but begins with your support

 
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