Ho raises funds for clean water through jewelry business

Madelyn Comstock, Staff Writer

Charisse Ho (11) runs her own jewelry business, so when the opportunity to participate in a project to raise money for clean water arose, she saw it as a perfect opportunity to use her business to help others. 

“I realized I could use my hobby as a way to help give to other communities around the world,” Ho said.

The project, known as AP with WE Service, was an optional AP Biology assignment for students to learn about clean water access. AP Biology teacher My-Nga Ingram said she chose clean water as the project topic because she wanted her students to be more mindful about issues that impact their community. 

“Many students aren’t aware that there are San Diegans who don’t have access to clean water,” Ingram said. “They are our neighbors so I thought was important to address that.”

Participants divided into groups for the project. Ho worked with classmates Kiera Doan (11) and Emily Nguyen (11) to learn and spread awareness about water insecurity.

“Our goal was to try to make a difference in the world, whether that meant advocating for clean water, or just fundraising,” Ho said. 

Ingram remembered Ho coming into class wearing unique jewelry at the beginning of the school year. When the class began working on their clean water projects, Ingram encouraged Ho to use her jewelry as a way to raise money.

“I specifically encouraged her not to create something new, [but to] tap into the talent that [she] already possessed,” Ingram said. “Why not do something that you’re already passionate about?”

The profits from Ho’s business were donated to Water.org, which is an organization that collects donations and gives them to underprivileged countries. According to Ho, they made $871 by selling the jewelry online, and more from in-person sales. Ho and her classmates also ran a GoFundMe page on the side to raise additional funds to donate alongside their jewelry business. 

One of their biggest buyers has been Ingram, who wears the necklaces during class to promote the business. She also uses them as rewards for her students.

“I decided to buy some of her jewelry to gift to other students for various reasons,” Ingram said. “It might be because they did great on a project or just because they liked the jewelry.”

Ho plans to continue their business with her partners to help more people around the world.

“I believe that we can all make a difference in the world,” Ho said. “[You can] use your personal hobbies and interests as a way to give back to other communities.”