Ebola often captures the interest of students who are preparing projects and reports. But I’ve found that rarely does it prompt someone to then raise funds on behalf of Ebola research. However, this is exactly what Ashely Enoch decided to do.
For her senior project at Soap Lake Middle and High School in Washington, Ashely held a bake sale. Her intention was to help raise money that could be used to research a potential cure for Ebola.
Those of us in the Special Pathogens Branch were excited when we learned that Ashely had raised $156. This was almost four times her initial goal of $40. The branch staff also had an excellent idea for who should receive the money – health workers in Uganda.
Uganda is a place where Ebola outbreaks are likely to start. CDC even has facilities in Uganda, where SPB’s Stephen Balinandi works. He suggested the money be given to health workers in rural areas of the country. Clinics and health centers in these areas often do not have gloves, gowns, or masks. These are items that keep workers safe when they are studying Ebola and help them to learn more about the disease.
Before the end of May, these items will be distributed in Uganda. This means that it will only be a short time before Ashely’s efforts will play a direct role in helping us learn more about Ebola.
And even though she’s done more than most people her age, there’s still one more thing she has to do after giving the presentation on her senior project – graduate.