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  • Writer's pictureSarah Caron

Brunchies for Munchies

Updated: May 7, 2019

The story of a high school student’s journey to start her own nonprofit.

Working at an Accepted Students Day, you meet a lot of students in the midst of deciding where they want to spend their next four years. Specifically, hosting at the Experiential Learning Showcase during an ASD entails greeting many families and discussing how community projects can influence their resumes and careers. After a while, these discussions blend together and it becomes difficult to distinguish one conversation  from the next. However, one conversation in particular has really made its mark.

Deanna Tabarus- an incoming freshman with high ambitions and big dreams.

Meet Deanna Tabarus.

A Long Island high school student who has attended several Student Council conferences over the years, Deanna says she has a passion for leadership. She feels a calling through leadership, as she is always ready to go the extra mile and loves meeting new people. Deanna is very ambitious and even though she has had some setbacks, she has learned from her mistakes and believes that they have helped her begin her biggest challenge yet- Brunchies for Munchies.

In her AP Government class, Deanna was moved by a video called “Un Dolar” -- a video that featured a young Latin American boy talking about what he would do if he had money. “If I had one dollar,” Deanna recalls the boy saying, “I would buy corn to help feed my mother.” The boy then continued with what he would do with two dollars, three dollars, and so on. Deanna remained moved by the boy’s situation, and wondered what she could do to help.

Shortly before seeing this video, Deanna took a job as a lifeguard at a local pool. To pass the time during work, she learned how to make string bracelets and scrunchies. She was told several times that she should sell her creations online before an idea came to her; Create a non-profit store that would sell her products, and donate the profits to people like the boy in the video.

Deanna began trying to put together a solid business plan with the help of her AP Government teacher. As someone who lives an eco friendly lifestyle, Deanna was adamant that her business be as well. Thus the use of recycled fabric and other materials. She perceived that her biggest challenge would be trying to make all these products by herself; but then, another fabulous idea came to mind.

Deanna would sell scrunchie kits, providing customers with everything they need to make their own. There would be instructional videos and cards that would walk them through each step. However, the most important part was that the consumers could then send their completed products back to Deanna to sell on her website. In return, they would receive another kit for free to complete more.

For Deanna, this non-profit has become more than just a side project, but her passion. However, with school and other obligations, it is difficult for her to find much time to give to it. Despite the time restraints, she recognizes that now is the best time for her to begin her dream. She has a great support system of teachers and friends, all who are more than willing to help.

Currently, Deanna is creating some prototypes for a final product -- which you can find below.

She is very excited about this project, as it will give her the chance to make positive change.

In her words, “There are so many people on this earth, but really, we are all the same. People put others on a pedestal based on wealth and status, but I want to give those who may be less fortunate another chance.”

Deanna is excited at the opportunity to involve people from all over the world in her mission.

After our conversation, I knew I was ready to help Deanna and her mission to help the world one bracelet or scrunchie at a time.

Here is a student with an inspiring cause and an even brighter future! As of April, Deanna has commited to RWU for the fall. We could definitely use more people like Deanna not only on our campus, but in our world as well.

Author: Sarah Caron

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