Graduating In A Pandemic Is Hard. But This High School Senior In Austin Found A New Way To Give.

Philanthropy was always part of Yazzen Turk’s life experience. But the Austin high school senior says he wanted to do even more.

By Claire McInernyMay 18, 2021 9:37 am, , ,

From KUT Austin:

Philanthropy is part of Yazzen Turk’s household.

His mom works with a lot of nonprofits, and during the pandemic he watched them all spring into action. One of the organizations, Muslim Space, was regularly giving groceries to the food pantry at Northeast High School, where Turk is a senior.

“I knew that it was being used and that families were relying on [the food pantry],” he said. “So it came to mind whenever I was looking for a project.”

Turk wanted to find a project to help his community in a really difficult year. Last summer, he saw a contest posted by a local contracting company that would award money to someone wanting to do just that. He submitted a proposal and got a grant of $750.

His project was to make meal kits for families at Northeast. He chose recipes that used simple ingredients and were easy to make. Then, he used the $750 to buy the groceries.

“Each family got five meals. There were 10 families, and all those meals fed a family of six,” Turk said.

He coordinated with the social worker at Northeast to make sure each meal kit got to families who needed them.

“This was my first time taking a project like this under my wing,” Turk said. “It was a new experience and it definitely made me more confident in my organizational skills. After I was done I was like, not only did I make a big difference, I was able to be an adult kind of, by making all these plans.”

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