Have you ever felt inspired to do something for a greater good, but were not sure how? When I was 9, I found inspiration through Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN). My experiences with MMUN locally and nationally opened my eyes to real-world problems. I wanted to help kids in need but did not know how. At first, I made and sold beaded bracelets and necklaces, with the goal of raising money for charities. While I enjoyed this, I realized that I wanted to directly impact children going through challenging times.

Then the story of a friend’s mom battling breast cancer gave me a new perspective. One of her challenges during chemotherapy was dry skin. Even though having dry skin may seem insignificant while being treated for cancer, it can be extremely bothersome. I decided to direct my efforts towards children going through similar experiences. Specifically, I was driven to make moisturizing body products to help their skin. I decided to start with lip balm, and my journey began with creating the perfect formula.

My family’s kitchen turned into a science lab. I tried many flavors and tested multiple formulas. I learned basic lessons about combining the ingredients. For example, it is critical to find the right balance between liquid and solid components. One of my lip balm batches had too much liquid and did not completely solidify, running all over the counter. Another batch was too solid, making it hard to apply. I also wanted to make sure that I used all natural and organic (when possible) ingredients. Once I perfected the formula, I began selling my product to friends in my class. Word spread around school and in town, and I quickly sold out. I am using these funds to create more lip balm to donate to kids with cancer at MD Anderson and other local hospitals and to expand my business so that I can reach more children across the country.

Please help me on this journey, it’s just the beginning!