Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School: Campolindo Cougars have Kiva spirit!

September is education month here at Kiva, so when I heard that students from Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA -- my former high school -- have raised over $10,000 to lend to borrowers around the world, I wanted to meet the students who are dedicated to making a global impact. 

Read our interview below with Kiva club leaders Bailey Wu, Jarret Tom, and Newton Kwan, Class of 2014!

Enthusiastic Kiva club members at Campolindo High School.

How did you learn about Kiva?

We learned about Kiva through one of our cousins, who is now starting his freshman year at Yale. When he was at Campolindo, he started a Kiva account and encouraged me to do so as well. He is super passionate about Kiva's message of global lending and helped found our club to encourage our peers to raise money for loans.

We started the club two years ago and named it the Lamorinda Kiva Club. After showing our classmates the video showing how Kiva works -- you can watch it here -- we had a lot of interest in the club, and our peers wanted to join us in giving. 

Because the Lamorinda Kiva Club is an independent club, we are looking forward to working with our peers at neighboring high schools, Acalanes and Miramonte.

What kinds of loans do you focus on?

The Lamorinda Kiva Club focuses on loans for South American women working in agriculture who are single mothers. We believe this demographic is the most in need of help because they have to support their families on their own. 

Some Kiva love from students raising money to lend with cool Kiva apparel.

How does your club work? 

We have one meeting a month and our club consists of 175 students out of the 1,200 in our student body. To date, we've invested $11,000 in 172 loans! 

We were able to raise this money through our Facebook Group and an in-class signup sheet. The competitive nature of our peers led to a $40 contribution, which led to $50, and so on. In fact, one senior came to a club meeting and presented us with a $600 check!

To raise money outside of donations, we also sell custom T-shirts and stunner shades, which have raised $1,500 alone.

What are your goals for the 2012-2013 school year?

This upcoming school year, we want to increase our membership to 200 minimum. And we really want to build strong relationships with the underclassmen, so they can take over when we graduate.

On top of that, we want our advertising to become bigger and better. We're going to expand our marketplace of Kiva merchandise to water bottles, frisbees, and cinch bags. In terms of monetary goals, we want to raise $20,000 in loans

How has your education shaped your desire to give back?
We read the book Three Cups of Tea in class, and it inspired us to give internationally. We all feel fortunate coming from Moraga to have a nice home, intact family, and safe and academically challenging education at Campolindo. We hope to continue our global education when we go off to college in two years. 

Me (Kiva's Blogger-in-Chief Kate Talbot, '02) with club leaders Bailey Wu, Jarret Tom and Newton Kwan at Kiva HQ wearing our Campolinda & Kiva apparel.