Delco teen creates 'resource closet' at local school to help students in need

A Delaware County teen's vision recently came to life after getting approval from school administration to start a resource closet for students in need. 

About a year ago, Aicha Coulibaly came up with an idea to start a collection of hygiene products for her classmates. Now, her idea has blossomed in to a closet packed full of various personal care items after the school board approved the teen's initiative. 

"Everybody deserves to have basic needs. It's not something you should really think twice about. It's human decent," said Coulibaly. 

The Academy Park High School junior has spent the last year collecting items for the closet and senior, Giovanna Forte, was quick to jump onboard.

"We have personal care little bags, shampoos, toothpaste, and tooth brushes. We just want people to feel comfortable coming here, like not being afraid or embarrassed because there's nothing to be embarrassed about. I mean, stuff happens. We are just here to help," said Forte. 


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The school provides the space for the resources off the gym. The closet, called "Knights Chamber" is fully equipped with anything a student may need, including school supplies and even brand-new sweatshirts. 

"You never know what somebody needs, so we just rolled with it, especially clothes, because you can walk around the hallways and see a lot of people wearing the same stuff every day," said Coulibaly. "We don't really live in a rich neighborhood."

Students looking to access the closet can reach out to a faculty or staff member that they trust. Assistant Principal, Michael Hooven, who's been helping the teens run the one-stop shop, says he has already had some students come to him. 

"They were very appreciative," said Hooven. "We're here for education, but we are also here to build those relationships, so they have adults to go to in a time of need."

Now that the closet is growing, the teens are focusing on getting the word out by making flyers and promoting it on social media. The resource closet is always looking for donations and the school says they are looking for volunteers.