Meet the high school students who are creating and donating PPE to frontline heroes

Jenny Miller
·2 mins read

In a welcoming reversal of roles, a group of high school freshmen is working to protect and keep health care workers safe. Eager to capitalize on their free time during the summer, the teens set out to make a positive impact on their community by helping to flatten the curve amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Andrew Zhang, Jerry Wu, Nick Genovese and Rishi Peddakama are students at Del Norte High School in San Diego, Calif., and the founders of Shield Our Health Heroes, a nonprofit organization that is raising money to protect heroes on the frontline with their homemade, high quality and reusable face shields.

Their efforts not only benefited health care workers but also taught the boys how to run their own business. Genovese handled the outreach process to find out which hospitals were in need of supplies. Zhang spearheaded the logistics of 3D printing. Peddakama set up the website and payment system, while Wu drove traffic and donations to their website by social media outreach.

Andrew Zhang, Jerry Wu, Nick Genovese and Rishi Peddakama assembling face shields for health care workers. (Photo courtesy of Shield Our Health Heroes)
Andrew Zhang, Jerry Wu, Nick Genovese and Rishi Peddakama assembling face shields for health care workers. (Photo courtesy of Shield Our Health Heroes)

Over a five-month period, the team has raised enough money to print, and donate more than 700 masks to 10 hospitals in Southern California. While these numbers are impressive, the team is just as focused on quality as quantity.

The students researched the best way to utilize the least amount of materials for the maximum amount of comfort. Genovese shares that multiple hospitals and clinics reported that their face shields are better than others they have received.

“The most rewarding part of this organization is that we actually get to help these doctors that are working really hard fighting the pandemic on the frontline. We’re trying to give back to these doctors and protect them too,” says Wu.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit shieldourhealthheroes.org.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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