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JSerra Juniors Win Grant for Vaping Education Project

Rising juniors Arav Patel, Dillon Kim, and Brayden Daly have certainly been productive during their summer break – especially considering the quarantine is still in place! The three friends won a $5000 grant from the Dragon Kim Foundation earlier this year to establish EduVape, a STEAM-based project focused on informing the youth on the harms of vaping in a fun and safe way.

Creating EduVape was a no brainer for the three founders. Not only are they friends and teammates on the JSerra Boys Soccer team but they are also Magnet students determined to manifest their ideas of the future into one project related to engineering and medicine. (Patel and Daly are Engineering Magnet students and Kim is in the Medical Magnet Program.)

Their idea to educate their peers on the ramifications of vaping came about from a JSerra Speaker Series event last fall with DEA agent Rocky Herron.

"We had been pondering different project ideas but what Mr. Herron said about vaping was mind-blowing," said Kim. "We all know people who vape and one friend in particular has even had respiratory issues."

Kim learned about the Dragon Kim Foundation, an NGO (non-government organization) that encourages high school students to take initiative by creating projects that will improve their communities. Kim, Patel, and Daly applied and were selected among 23 other groups in the fellowship program. Along with the grant, they were given a mentor to help them execute their ideas.

They have already begun educating younger generations with the goal of breaking the status quo that vaping makes users popular, which they have determined is a major factor in consumption by young individuals. They plan to hold engaging and interactive assemblies at local YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs; currently, their assemblies have been virtual owing to the pandemic. In fact, they have an assembly they are conducting via Zoom tomorrow with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Anaheim and Cypress.

They also have a capstone, in-person event planned for Thursday, July 30 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Pretend City. Please note that the venue is indoors so the event be cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the event is allowed to take place, temperatures will be taken and social distancing measures will be implemented. There will be live science experiment shows and speakers (including renown professors) discussing vaping and health concerns. There will also be a competition with molecule-building kits to determine who can build the fastest.

"It's going to be an overall learning experience that's fun and interactive," said Daly.

Patel added, "We want kids to be engaged in the learning process."

Should this complimentary event take place, drinks and refreshments will be provided.

To learn more about EduVape, follow them on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Photo of EduVape founders juniors Arav Patel, Dillon Kim, and Brayden Daly