On the 6th day of giving, offer help to homeless youth

December 18, 2012

As Arizona State University gears up to win the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Dec. 29, in San Francisco, the university is taking the opportunity to offer suggestions for 12 Days of Giving in order to make a big difference this season and celebrate the university’s outreach role in the community.

Day 6
Partner with an incredible kid to help homeless youth. Download Full Image

Zach Bonner was just 7 years old when he decided to collect water and supplies for victims of Hurricane Charley in 2004 with his own little red wagon.

A year later, he formed the Little Red Wagon nonprofit organization to help homeless and underprivileged kids at the age of 8. When he was 12, Bonner walked the length of the country to raise awareness about the plight of homeless youth.

Arizona State University joined Bonner’s effort to help homeless children through a backpack drive in October that benefitted Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development – an organization that provides services for underprivileged youth and kids who are on the streets. Over several days, the ASU community donated backpacks with the usual necessities, such as a small journal and pen, healthy snack, deodorant and socks.

“Phoenix was without a doubt one of the highlights of my 2010 walk to raise awareness of homeless youth. To have the opportunity to partner with ASU and Tumbleweed – one of my favorite organizations in the country – is awesome,” Bonner said.

ASU’s Changemaker Central partnered with the effort through its mission to develop and nurture students by providing the opportunities and resources to inspire student-driven social change.

“Students involved with Changemaker Central view problems as opportunities," said Allison Oaks, student leader at Changemaker Central. "Homelessness persists and is a prevalent issue within our local community. We see a bit of ourselves in homeless youth, which makes students that much more motivated and eager to become active in contributing to Zach's cause and to join his efforts in eliminating poverty and homelessness.

"It's humbling for students to be able to give back and provide more opportunities for those less fortunate."

Julie Newberg , julie.newberg@asu.edu
Media Relations

Natasha Karaczan, natasha.karaczan@asu.edu
Media Relations


Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

MFA grad explores poetry as bridge across boundaries

December 18, 2012

What does it mean to be human and how do we interconnect with each other and the world around us?

These are the questions that inspire Heather Poole, as she graduates with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Download Full Image

“I believe the arts and beauty are essential to the human soul and as a bridge across boundaries, that unites, inspires and allows us greater communication and understanding with one another,” says Poole. “Art assists in developing creative win-win situations where all benefit in positive ways.”

A collection of poems – Fledglings of Anani – are Poole’s master’s thesis, a project that encountered unexpected delays due to life events.

“After completion of my coursework I was unable to return to ASU for seven years,” she says. “I helped with family illnesses and death which took me away from school. Yet, in the end, this time enriched my life and the work I am now writing would not have been possible without these experiences.”

Fledglings of Anani, completed in the last year at ASU, embraces the complexity, tenderness and vitality of life, says Poole. “The subject is beauty. Beauty is harmony and an essential ingredient to the individual’s psyche as well as the growth and expansion of community and society.”

“My hope is that Fledglings of Anani uplifts, nourishes and expands the readers’ thoughts to embrace the depth and subtle connections between self, people, places, and inter-relationships, and appreciate how these things, often the most ordinary, are what give substance and meaning to our lives.”

Poole received a Graduate College Completion Fellowship for fall 2012 to support the impressive quality of her work. “The graduate fellowship enabled me to focus solely on the work and give it full time and attention in order to bring it to completion and was invaluable,” says Poole.

When she first arrived at ASU, says Poole, “I did not know I was entering into a program with reknowned writers and some of the best poets of our time.” In addition to the kinship and sense of community the writing department engendered, she experienced an unwavering dedication in the teachers who helped her and each student develop their voice and vision to their highest potential.

“Graduation is a day of deep appreciation for everyone who has been a part of this, from my mentors, my department, and to students and all who are a part of ASU – for I could not have done this without the aid of so many people.”

After graduation, Poole intends to keep creating “work that celebrates life and our interconnectedness to each another and to the world in the spirit of beauty, peace, and compassion.”

“Art is available to everyone. There is no ‘wrong’ art, and I would like to see others utilize it as a tool of empowerment for themselves and for society, as a channel that supports constructive dialogue, opens minds, extends our boundaries, and allows humanity to grow in concrete and harmonious ways that benefit all.”

Michele St George, michele.stgeorge@asu.edu
Graduate College

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library