Our Story & Team

From the founder-

 

My name is Clementine Chamberlain and I am about to graduate from Carmel High School. I’ve lived on the peninsula my entire life and have lived in Seaside, Monterey, Marina, Spreckels, and now my family lives in Carmel Valley. Due to my dad’s address, I have been in the Carmel Unified School District since pre-school and I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have been open to me and for the wonderful teachers I have had.

 

I have always been extremely empathetic and curious to learn about the world around me. I was in fifth grade when I began to realize how truly lucky I was, because I began working with the Kinship center and learned how hard life can be for people that live just over Laureles Grade from me. Volunteering and being thankful have been strong values in my family, and I became even more involved once I got to Carmel High School.

 

In my four years at Carmel High School, I have become gradually more involved on campus and in the community with each year. At the beginning of my freshman year, I decided to join This Club Saves Lives, because I have a passion to help others and I needed an outlet to get involved. After two years of commitment this humanitarian service group at my school, I am now finishing up my third year as a Senior and co-president of the club. When I first joined, it was a small and new group with a large number of graduating seniors. Through my passion, I have encouraged many of my peers and younger classmen to join. I am constantly working to come up with new ideas and projects to help give back to the community, that will be engaging to the fifty person club I am proud to lead every week.

 

The biggest idea I have been actively working on this school year is a campaign to end the stigma around periods, address the struggle women face to obtain tampons and pads, all while encouraging my peers and teachers to donate to women in need. I wanted people to understand that ‘tampon’ is not a dirty word, and that there is a large lack of access to these products for low-income and homeless women around the world and in the Monterey County. Not only have we spread awareness about ‘Tampon Tuesday’ through social media and the weekly bulletins, we put hygiene product collection boxes in classrooms and the library to gather donations for the homeless population lacking these basic essentials that we take for granted.

 

I have been able to further grow the campaign with the support of local news outlets featuring our story such as the Monterey Herald, KSBW, and KRML. In April, I was able to attend a state leadership conference for high school and middle school students, and  my story reached over 400 kids, many of which shared that they were going to bring Tampon Tuesday back to their school.

 

My staff advisor Leigh Cambra nominated me for a #Digital4Good award, and I will be presenting the cause at the Facebook headquarters in September. By bringing this conversation to more than just Carmel students, we have been able to push the importance of this issue to a bigger audience and educate more people. Many collection drives on school campuses last for about two weeks, but this topic is so important and I knew it had to be an ongoing conversation. The drive has been taking place since September, and it has been amazing to see boys and girls and staff learn new things and grow to be more comfortable talking about this taboo topic.

 

When the initial video was shown on the bulletin at the beginning of the school year, I received word that some students commented that “we need to get this liberal sh*t out of our classroom.” It was fascinating that since this drive was in support of women, it was automatically considered liberal. I was also told by several teachers--male and female--that I could not put the collection boxes in their classrooms because there are freshmen boys on our campus. What about the 50% of our school made up of women? When our schools collected socks for the homeless, there was zero pushback or hesitation. This learning experience proved to me how truly important this cause is, and showed how necessary it is for schools to be openly having this conversation.   

 

I’m very excited to share Tampon Tuesday with our community, and I’m hopeful that you will join the menstrual movement. I will be attending Monterey Peninsula College and want to bring this period project there, as well as to various businesses in the community. I am hoping that our community members will share my site around, to encourage local business owners to request a Tampon Tuesday collection box at their site.

 

After obtaining a degree in Sociology, I hope to get a job working at a non-profit organization. Ten years from now, I would love to be running an organization that focuses on bringing communities together by supporting all of its members with the tools they need to be successful. I believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed. I am not sure the exact focus of my work, but I know that I will make a career for myself out of my passion and genuine love for helping others and this project is a wonderful first step to getting there.

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Aminah Khalil

 

“Volunteering is not a job, nor a race,” eighteen-year-old Aminah Khalil says. “You don’t get a trophy for the work you put in, but you gain something more valuable: knowledge.”

 

Aminah Khalil is a sassy, hard-working, bright student and--as of June 2019--a Carmel High School graduate. Her enthusiasm around making CHS a more positive place has been put toward driving This Club Saves Lives to success since the start of her sophomore year.

 

Khalil was the co-president of This Club Saves Lives for the 2018-19 school year and has been an active community member since she was young, partially due to her parents’ influence. Growing up, her family would hold bake sales for children in Palestine, sell bracelets to feed people in Syria, and provide meals for homeless people they would pass on the streets.  

 

Khalil is full Palestinian and proudly wears a hijab to school every day, making her stand out in a primarily white community. The discrimination that she has faced has driven her to advocate for diversity and equal rights, and her work with This Club Saves Lives reflects this. The passionate student’s favorite project the club has taken on is the Thirst Gala. This annual event is a fundraiser for the Thirst Project, an organization that builds clean water wells next to schools so girls can get an education and bring clean water home to their families. Khalil has helped out with this event for three years because she believes everyone should have access to clean water and that girls deserve an education equal to boys’.

 

Khalil is proud of her family for pushing through unimaginable hardships. She has a different perspective from many of her Carmel High classmates, because her parents were born and raised in refugee camps after her grandparents were displaced in the Palestinian-Israeli war of 1948. Seeing how far her parents have come despite these struggles has inspired Aminah to dedicate her time to help people in need in our community and worldwide.

 

“Ever since I was a child, my mom would inform and educate me about what’s going on in the world,” Khalil shares. “Whether it’s war or celebrations, she never wants to censor anything that is truly going on.”

 

Being an aware local and global citizen is one of the club’s strongest values, and Khalil helps push that message on the CHS campus and to the club members. This Club Saves Lives continues to be an outlet for many students to create change, and the passionate student feels lucky to have had that resource.

 

“Volunteering means that I could follow in the footsteps of my parents,” Khalil points out, “and it means that I could use the privilege of the resources that were given to me and help change the world.”

 

In the future, Khalil hopes to be a physician's assistant, a job that will allow her to constantly serve others. She has worked 400 hours of sports medicine for Carmel’s sports games and practices, and this has encouraged her to get into the medical field. If Khalil choses to stay in the community and attend the Monterey Peninsula College nursing program, she will continue to serve the beautiful peninsula.

 

There are no boundaries to what Aminah Khalil is capable of accomplishing-- and if anyone tells her otherwise, she will be determined to prove them wrong.

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Ananda Sudol

 

The bubbly and beautiful Ananda Sudol is the most approachable young lady on Carmel High’s campus, radiating positivity wherever she goes. Her forward attitude helps This Club Saves Lives get stuff done. Sudol is sixteen years old and a sophomore, but her maturity and respectfulness convinces people otherwise.

 

She joined the club as a freshman in order to spend more time with her

older sister, CHS graduate Julia Sudol, and to be more active at Carmel High.

 

“My big sister has had a huge impact on me growing up because she’s always thinking of others and wants the best for them,” Sudol says. “I try to live in that same mindset, giving value to the needs of others.”

 

Ananda Sudol’s older sister and parents have always practiced giving back and being grateful for what they have. She grew up experiencing the way her parents’ spiritual group reached out and volunteered in their community. Sudol remembers when the group gave lunches to the homeless, which was her first experience with volunteering. Through being raised in a family that values philanthropy, the teen has made it a point to surround herself with kind beings who share that same value.

 

The generous student has an interesting heritage, with both of her parents being Polish. Her father grew up in a primarily Polish community in Chicago, Illinois; when he took a business trip to Poland, he ended up meeting Sudol’s mom, who migrated to the United States to be with him shortly after.

 

After living in Los Angeles until age eleven, the bright eyed girl jumped into the Carmel community headfirst, taking part in theatre at the middle school. Since middle school, Ananda Sudol attracted friends to her like a magnet wherever she went, which helped shape her into a caring community member. Since she started attending Carmel High, she has helped out with countless club projects. This year, she took the graphic design class offered at the school and created a Tampon Tuesday design, without even being asked. The outgoing student was also elected to be Junior Class Vice President for the following school year, which once again proves her positive leadership. As a junior, Ananda Sudol will also take over as This Club Saves Lives President, which shows her devotion and commitment to local and global service, and the place it has on campus.

 

“Once I had the opportunities and platform through the club,” shares Sudol, “I wanted to take advantage of that and pursue volunteering and being an active community member.”

 

Ananda Sudol helps out an even bigger community--and that is the online social media space. Through an internship with the non-profit company #icanhelp, the teen activist is able to spread positive content that she creates online. The goal of the company is to delete negativity on social media through instilling the tools needed in teenagers to be “social media first responders.” In February, Sudol thought of an activity that would engage the club members and well as inspire a bigger audience of students on Instagram and Twitter. During a weekly meeting, a few students wrote positive messages and affirmations on colorful sticky notes. All of sixth period, co-president and close friend of Sudol, Clementine Chamberlain helped Sudol cover the women’s restroom mirrors in these empowering messages. After creating a promotional video for #icanhelp, the loving student was able to inspire other schools to do a similar act of kindness.

 

“It was really amazing to see the reactions,” Chamberlain shares about the sticky note aftermath. “Girls were posting mirror selfies and sharing that the messages made their day. That’s really all Ananda and I wanted to do, make someone’s day a little brighter.”

 

Ananda Sudol has the opportunity to spearhead new creative ideas as a leader of TCSL, and will continue to persuade her peers to join the incredible cause that is bringing empathetic students together at Carmel High School. One of her biggest inspirations is Yara Shahidi, a celebrity, fashion icon, teen, and student activist, but what Sudol may not realize is that she shares those same traits and is a glowing ray of positivity and hope.

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This Club Saves Lives:

Memorable projects from the last 2 years

  • Collected over 10,000 Tampons and pads for local homeless and women’s shelters

  • Helped create a human trafficking resource center in Salinas, Learned about the issue of sex trafficking in American, and Locally

  • We then did a drive for items to donate to this resource center for YWCA

  • When the Big Sur bridge collapsed stranding many families, we raised money and hiked uphill on a small path with grocery items and essentials they most needed

  • Worked with Family House in San Francisco, helping children with life threatening illnesses by donating items their families need

  • Did a school supplies drive and over summer packed backpacks with supplies for elementary students in Salinas at a school with a 50% homeless rate, 47 bags filled + extra supplies

  • Made hundreds of reusable farmers market bags for local markets in order to reduce plastic use

  • Made flower crowns for kindergarteners in Salinas for their graduation ceremony, we visited their school and gave them treats and played with them

  • Made Christmas cookies for Safe House Monterey event

  • Put on four Thirst Gala Events: raised enough money for one clean water well for a third world country; This allows girls to go to school instead of getting unsafe water for their families

  • Four Annual Service trips to LA: every year when we attend WE Day we make over 100 lunches for PATH homeless services, we volunteer at Thirst Project offices, Donate to Baby2Baby and volunteer sorting baby clothes

  • 50 foster care bundles for Baby2Baby, LA

Check out the club site!

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