Hero Highlight: Makayla Oas
At just 17 years old, Makayla Oas is doing amazing things. A junior in high school, she attends a boarding school in Connecticut and plans to pursue a career in business. She dreams of creating two businesses: one for-profit and one non-profit.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Makayla and her schoolmates were suddenly sent home leaving most of their belongings behind. Switching from boarding school to school at home as been difficult for her but she says, “If it is hard for me then it must be even harder for children who are at a disadvantage. This is what drove me to search for ways that I could help them.”
Makayla saw her friends supporting foster youth online and began doing some research. She found the Children’s Foundation of America’s campaign to support children in need during the COVID-19 crisis and reached out to help. She worked with her dad, a business owner, to search for ways they could help.
“My dad has many friends who have businesses and he helped me reach out to them to ask for hand sanitizer donations,” she said. During a time when supplies were scarce, they were able to provide 7 large bottles of hand sanitizer and 100 masks, which the Foundation distributed to foster youth on residential campuses.
One day when she starts her non-profit, Makayla hopes to help children in foster care. Her passion to help these children was inspired by her grandmother, who was a foster parent. She was impressed by her grandmother and felt empathy for the children she would foster. “They weren’t always provided the resources they needed,” she said.
She also hopes to create a tutoring group to help children in foster care in the near future and says she is “willing to put in all the work that is needed to help these children in need.” The foundation is so grateful to be partnering with such great heroes like Makayla who strive to Be the Difference in the lives of children in need.
Isabel Millward-Pena, Communications Specialist
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working with our team as an intern and, luckily for us, never left. Prior to her work at the Foundation, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017.