Morristown, N.J. (September 21, 2017) – Julia Davidson, a Foods and Nutrition major in the class of 2018, is developing a nonprofit organization, Positive Roots, with the goal of improving education in rural communities of Jamaica.
Davidson, who transferred to CSE from Bergen Community College in 2015, is very involved at CSE as President of the Nutrition and Wellness Club and a Student Ambassador.
Her idea for the nonprofit came after spending time volunteering in a Jamaican basic school and rural community this summer. It was there that she saw the lack of quality education children are receiving, leaving students without several basic skills. This trip enabled Davidson to realize the true value of education.
She says, "Educating communities, especially those living in high-risk environments, provides the tools to combat poverty, malnutrition, and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases."
Prior to her trip, Davidson spent months collecting 140 pounds of school supplies for the children.
"There's 25 kids per classroom and many don't even have pens, pencils or paper," says Davidson. "I just want to help improve their educational experience."
Davidson's goal for the future is to expand her service by raising $7,000 to construct a primary school in Roaring River, Jamaica.
"This community only has a basic school for children aged 3-6," explains Davidson. "The kids have to travel three miles to another town to go to primary school (aged 6-12) and, as a result, many kids end up missing school."
Davidson is developing a business plan and meeting with a non-profit, pro bono law firm to attain 501(c)(3) status for Positive Roots. In the meantime, she's started another drive for school supplies which she hopes to take to Jamaica during winter break.
"I'm really grateful for CSE because it's gotten me involved in so many service opportunities," says Davidson, whose mother received a BSN and MSN at the College. "Coming here made me realize that I need to help others. I honestly feel that if those who have more would share, the world would be totally different."
After Davidson graduates, she plans on pursing her master's in nutrition and public health at CSE.