decaAs you may know, I recently had the honor of speaking at the 2017-18 NJ DECA State Conference in Atlantic City.  The DECA State Officershad chosen Bridge of Books as their Statewide Community Project.  Throughout last fall, High School DECA Clubs hosted a variety of fundraisers to support our mission.  Many Clubs took an extra step and collected books for us as well.  It was super amazing to witness the creative fundraisers on social media and to connect with the various chapter officers and advisors as they arranged to deliver donations to us at Vonage. 

Our continuing success at getting thousands of books into the hands of NJ kids who need them is a direct result of the tremendous support that we receive from the community.   The “IMPACT” on people who decide to get involved with our mission is an important part of our story.  Below, please find Ravi Arya’s thoughts on what supporting our mission meant to him and his fellow students.  A powerful reminder that young adults have the motivation and power to be the #changeagents of the future.

Submitted by: Ravi Arya, President – NBC High School DECA

2018-02-28-08-55-57Growing up, I would read books that would transport me into magic tree houses and magic school buses. I would read books that would facilitate my creative interests and passions. I cannot imagine a childhood without having such a necessity as a good book to sit down with, relax, and enjoy; a book that leaves me awestruck, or full of laughter and inspiration.

Bridge of Books’ mission is extraordinary in making sure that every child has a book to call their own. I am passionately grateful for Bridge of Books giving students at my school the opportunity to get involved with such an ardent mission. As Randy Pausch, a former Carnegie Mellon professor, once stated, “When we’re connected to others, we become better people.” This quote is one that needs to be reread several times for the sake of letting it marinate in our minds.

Getting the opportunity to connect with people through helping them in time of need is one of the most fulfilling feelings anyone could ever experience.  Bridge of Books gives people just like me that very same opportunity to give back to the community. Bridge of Books connects volunteers to real people who are in real need. They build a bridge between the volunteers and those in need, but they create a bridge of more than just books. They create a bridge of kindness; a bridge of hope; a bridge of friendship and humanity. Bridge of Books creates this bridge with teamwork and tireless passion for the children in need.

As president of my high school DECA chapter, it inspired me and warmed my heart to see so many of our members stay after school hours and volunteer some of their lunch time in order to pursue the Bridge of Books mission. Bridge of Books allowed DECA members to work together to create a real change. High school students, creating real change in the societies around them empower the youth of today to continue to reach across that bridge to help our friends in need on the other end. I hope that will inspire others around the world to build their own bridges. To close the gap and unite the division. I close by merely thanking Bridge of Books for all that they do and for letting DECA at our high school get involved with something so grand.