“In the wake of tragedy, when the waves subside, what is revealed is often inspiring,” a press statement from the Francis Howell School District said. After the destructive hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, Francis Howell Central High senior Isabel “Issy” Schwartz stepped up and emerged as a leader, helping to reveal the good in her community.
In early September, Schwartz approached French teacher Amy Roznos and Spanish teacher Caitlin Crain to see how students could help hurricane victims.
“It broke my heart to see all the destruction and the suffering caused by the hurricanes,” Schwartz said, “And sitting by and just watching it happen didn’t feel right.”
On her own, Schwartz contacted the United Way, compiled a list of helpful donations for the hurricane victims and organized a supply drive at Howell Central. Many students got involved, filling boxes with donations and writing letters to victims.
“It made me really proud to be a part of the Francis Howell Central family,” Schwartz said, “Seeing how many people cared just as much as I did. The amount of supplies we were able to send was way above and beyond what I had imagined, especially after only four days.”
Schwartz was impressed with her community, but Roznos was impressed with Schwartz.
“Issy is an amazing student and a super-caring person,” Roznos said. “I was really impressed by her initiative and drive to reach out to the hurricane victims.”
When Schwartz arrived at the post office, she was prepared to pay the whole postal fee herself, but while the postal worker was weighing the boxes for shipping, other customers began asking where the boxes were going. Strangers began chipping in, covering the entire shipping total of $379.73.
“Those people in the post office rekindled my entire belief in the goodness of people,” Schwartz said. “I love being a part of our community. Everything that happened throughout this entire experience made me a better person, and in all honesty changed my outlook on life. I believe that I’m genuinely happier and it really goes to show that your actions can change someone’s life.”