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NCHS Key Club selling bracelets to benefit Guatemalan student

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By Kacie Goode

The Nelson County High School Key Club has taken on a service project to help send an 18-year-old Guatemalan girl to college. The club is selling Yuda Bands during lunch at the school through April 25.

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“I think education is very important and I think every kid deserves to expand their education,” said NCHS senior and Key Club President Joselin Cruz, who discovered the Yuda Bands project a few months ago.

Yuda Bands are leather and coconut bracelets made by hand by Guatemalan artisans, and they feature several designs. The bracelets are named for “ayuda” the Spanish world for help. Profit from the bands is used to build scholarship funds to educate youth in developing nations and to help break the poverty cycle.

“The amazing thing about Yuda Band projects is that youth are helping youth — and they’re seeing they have the power to affect lives in a positive way,” said Brent Whiting, founder of Yuda Bands, in a press release. “They love the bracelets and think they’re stylish, but the fact that something as simple as buying one will make a difference is appealing to youth.”

The project allows participating clubs to choose a student to sponsor, and the NCHS Key Club chose Maria Saben Bajxac

“There’s a lot of students you can choose from and Maria, she just stood out,” Cruz said. “It’s really hard to earn money in Guatemala. Her parents work really hard, and she has three siblings.”

The project reflects the purpose of Key Club, which is service. Some of the projects the club has done locally include work with Relay for Life, Pennies for Patients, UNICEF, and an annual Easter egg hunt, among others.

“We try to teach our students it’s important to help out in the community and in our school, and now we are helping out a girl in another country,” Cruz said.

The bands will be sold for $7 during first, second and third-period lunch at the school. Parents wishing to purchase bands are invited to send money with their students. Cruz said several students, teachers and school staff have already come together to purchase bands, showing how much the school community cares. Additional information on Yuda Bands can be found at YudaBands.org.