My goal as a 7th grader is to build a school!

Anna’s visit to the Chimaltenango dump

Hi, I’m seventh grader Anna Park. This foundation has always been one of my dreams…here is the story of how I achieved it.

In 2016 when I was in 4th grade, my family took a memorable trip to Guatemala. We hiked up Pacaya Volcano, explored 17th-century buildings in Antigua, learned how to weave cloths at Lake Atitlan, and explored the Mayan ruins of Iximche. While our trip was exciting, I couldn’t help notice the extreme poverty throughout the country. There were poorly clothed people living on the streets and homes without windows, doors, water, or electricity. I became determined to help in any way possible. I arrived home with a new commitment to support struggling communities.


Collecting School Supplies

Supplies collected

I decided to target helping children by collecting school supplies for Guatemalan schools in need. I reached out to several organizations and finally connected with Joe Walenciak at John Brown University. Joe introduced me to Mi Especial Tesoro, an elementary school and abused girls home in Chimaltenanga that receives no government support. With the help of my teacher, I rallied my 4th grade class at Alcott Elementary and collected hundreds of items including notebooks, paper, pencils, and markers. Joe and his students hand delivered the supplies to Mi Especial Tesoro. The children were so grateful and sent a lovely thank you letter to my class. It was a successful first year!

Anna volunteering at Mi Especial Tesoro

The following year, I went bigger! With my Principal’s guidance, I presented to all the teachers and lead a team of 5th grades to collect supplies from the entire school. We collected thousands of items which took months to deliver to Guatemala. The highlight was when my Dad and I traveled to Guatemala to deliver supplies, host a breakfast, and visit the school and the garbage dump where the children live and work.

Building A School

Students thanking Anna for collecting school supplies

In middle school, I continued to collect school supplies from the two schools in my district. This year as a 7th grader, I have decided I want to do more…I want to go above and beyond! Instead of collecting supplies, I want to build a school!

It costs $3,000 to build a classroom in Chimaltenango.

My goal is to build 2!

In June, I am organizing a 5k/Fun Run in Concord, Massachusetts called Run To School. Our goal is raise $6,000 that will go towards building and furnishing two classrooms for Mi Especial Tesoro. The school was recently displaced from their previous location by the government and now must build a new school on vacant land. This is as tremendous undertaking given that they are currently surviving off of small donations from a few organizations.

Children at Mi Especial Tesoro

My goal cannot be accomplished without the help and support of many. Every child deserves an education and my hope is to bring education to every child that I can.

Please consider donating to our cause and/or joining us at the Run To School 5k/Fun Run by either running or volunteering. See race details at


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