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Local Incoming College Student Ensures Her College-Bound Peers in Yonkers Have Dorm Room Essentials

“It is important for me to make a difference in the lives of others by supporting and guiding others like the way my parents have guided me in my journey so far.” – Katie Han with a group of college-bound Yonkers students

Katie Han, a recent graduate from Scarsdale High School, will be starting college in the fall. As she prepares for her first year in college, she wanted to ensure that her college-bound peers in Yonkers have the items they need as they embark on their college journeys.

Katie was inspired by her family’s longtime commitment to Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE), a local nonprofit that prepares Yonkers students for college success. When she learned that YPIE had offered dorm drives in the past for incoming female college students, she generously offered to host similar events for college-bound male students.

For the second year, Katie created lists of the items she thought these students would need as they step on campus for the first time and reached out to her community for support.

On June 27th, Katie filled the YPIE College Zone with the items her community members provided for these students: desk lamps, sheets, comforters, power strips, shower caddies, hampers, and more.

Students left with bags filled with the items they need most when they arrive on campus. Katie also generously donated Amazon gift cards for each student.

“My community quickly responded to my request, including adult members and my high school peers. The Boys Dorm Drive shopping day always brings me joy when I meet the graduating seniors and see the fruition of the drive and the smiles,” Katie shared.

The students who participated, many the first in their families to go to college, will attend Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Union College, and Wesleyan University, among others.

“I’m really happy to have all these college resources that are brand new, out of the box,” said Jason, an incoming freshman at Johns Hopkins University. “I’m really grateful to Katie for thinking not only about herself but also about her peers and alleviating the challenges and stress we may have as we start our first year of college.

“This has been very helpful for my family and me,” stated Jose, an incoming freshman at Columbia University. “It makes me feel more prepared and comfortable. It’s a relief to have all of this already.”

Katie, an incoming freshman at The University of California, Irvine, plans to study business and entrepreneurship. As she starts her college journey, she will continue to look for new opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

“My inspiration comes from what I believe in the YPIE "Why" mantra: All young people, regardless of zip code, are entitled to a quality education, and a chance to discover their passions and share their talents with the world,” stated Katie. “It is always important to pay it forward and always believe that we can accomplish tasks when we have the right mindset.”

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