Proactive Pupils

It’s COBO Bottle’s mission to promote sustainability and environmental consciousness to its consumers, but it doesn’t end there. We are all stewards for the environment and such stewardship is an appointment that doesn’t discriminate based on social status, region, ethnicity…or age.

This past month, COBO proudly teamed up with Wild Swell Inc. and Lake Oswego Junior High School (LOJ) in Oregon to help educate students on the effects of single-use plastics by providing the young bastions of environmental health an alternative to traditional school fundraising. LOJ’s sixth through eighth grade students hit their communities selling COBO bottles, using their time at large to present their own beliefs on environmental stewardship to others. In fact, they were happy to do so.

Here’s what they had to say about it:

When it comes to the significance of being environmentally conscious, Kade said, “When you make a difference, it feels rewarding, others see that you care, and it motivates them to make a difference too.”

Upon knowing he made a positive change, if only a small one, Max said, “It makes me want to teach others about the importance of not polluting our world.”

“Helping prevent species from becoming endangered and extinct and to improve the pollution problem makes me feel better,” said Hannah about her participation in the COBO fundraiser.

Also, Evelyn said she thinks it’s important for young people to be proactive in their communities, “ that we can learn about the world’s problems at a younger age,” along with Zaden who said, “It’s their Earth that they are inheriting, so they need to understand how to look after it.”

Not only were these students impassioned and excited about helping to promote sustainability in their communities, they were also excited about where the raised money was going. Of course, that entity was the school itself, earning $2,238 for investing into future year LOJ's academics; but, there was an additional twist. Students of LOJ were volunteering their time and effort to benefit fellow students, as well as students from states away they had never met.

Of the COBO Bottles sold by LOJ students, COBO invested 20 percent of its revenue to match the $2,238 from COBO sales and donated those funds to furthering the development of Ryan Banks Academy experiential programs.

Ryan Banks Academy will be the first hybrid boarding school in Southside Chicago and is due to open in September of 2018. It was named in honor of 12 year-old Niazi “Ryan” Banks, a young man who tragically lost his life, having been caught in a crossfire outside his home. Initiated by Bank’s former social worker, and since gaining multiple support channels, the academy aims to provide a forward-thinking, rigorous curriculum to youths who may not have access to cutting-edge education models. At the same time, they will look to emotionally educate those youths and provide them a safe haven, one where they can be free of worry from suffering the same fate as Banks, while providing them with the tools to identify scenarios that lead to violence and cope with the negative aspects of their environment in positive ways.

The ability to partner with schools, like LOJ and Ryan Banks Academy, affording young people the opportunity to affect positive change in the world around them, independently and in a way that speaks to their own passions, is an ability COBO’s extremely grateful for. A huge thanks goes out to the school's students and Wild Swell Inc. for making this effort a massive success.

Although this inaugural School House Fundraiser has ended as of May 4th, COBO and Wild Swell look forward to a long-term relationship with RBA and LOJ.  COBO Bottle is planning to scale these fundraisers to many other schools moving forward.

This is but a drop in the pond of future endeavors to fund philanthropic projects with Wild Swell Inc. as a partner in their “Live, Give, Heal” initiative.

Written by Paul Ostrander

Logan Avant