By ADRIANA GUTH-BOROWSKI – The Anonymous Student Assistance Payment Fund (ASAP), created by seniors Hasan Ali and Jason Zheng, has amassed nearly seven thousand dollars in just two weeks. The fund is designed to work with the school guidance office in order to help students who may be in need of financial support.
The ASAP fund project gained approval from the IASD School Board in February of last year. Ali and Zheng created the project as a way to help students in need by having a continuous fund rather than raising funds only at the time of need.
“We proposed the creation of a continuous, anonymous fund that would allow students to talk to a guidance counselor or other mediator about their issue,” stated Zheng. “This would be done in a stress-free manner while being quick and efficient.
“The thought of students experiencing a crisis or in need of financial aid in our community is what truly inspired us. No student should have to worry about their next meal or having warm clothes for the winter. Every student deserves to focus on what matters most, their education.”
With the support of IASD Business Manager, Jared Cronauer, We for AP Club adviser and English teacher, Julie Steve, the IHS Counseling Department, senior high Principal Wade McElheny, and senior high Assistant Principal Doug Johnson, Ali and Zheng were able to create a GoFundMe account for ASAP.
“It is the result of a lot of hard work on behalf of both young men,” stated Steve. “They wrote countless drafts of their plan, sat in many meetings with their counselors and administrators, presented to our school board, and worked directly with our business manager to get the Go Fund Me page started. I am amazed at the dedication of these two gentlemen and the professionalism with which they handled themselves.”
Ali and Zheng were unsure the project would be a success due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They put in countless hours to get the project approved and off of the ground.
“The impact of adults has been defining for our fund’s efforts from start to finish,” said Ali. “Mrs. Steve (our advisor for the whole affair) worked closely with us on every part of the fund, gave us ideas, connected us with donors, and advocated for us.
“The administration, counselors, and school board’s willingness to listen and approve our ideas was also appreciated. Finally, one specific member of district administration, Mr. Jared Cronauer, went above and beyond to make sure our project would be successful, helping us with everything from setting up the GoFundMe, to creating procedures for the fund, all while dealing with a titanic pandemic workload.”
Ali and Zheng wanted to create the foundation for helping students in need that would continue after their graduation from IHS. Those looking to donate to this cause can go to https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/asapfund.
[Photo courtesy of Jason Zheng]
Photo Caption: “Seniors Jason Zheng and Hasan Ali worked tirelessly to organize the ASAP project designed to help those in need.”
Adriana is a senior and editor in chief during her fourth year of journalism. She enjoys taking journalism classes at IUP and is excited to provide the community with factual news reporting.