By Victoria Feng, AKOM, Money Smarts, and Assistant Editor
Patricia Manubay, 19-year-old founder of Dream Boxes and Above Apathy
Quote of the Month
“Do what you love, and remind yourself why you love it.”
-Patricia Manubay, founder of Dream Boxes and Above Apathy
March Amazing Kid! of the Month
With March comes the arrival of spring, a season commonly associated with new beginnings. After all, the days get warmer and warmer and just feel bright and happy. It is also a relaxing transition from the cold touch of winter. It’s a time to start a new chapter of your life and make it even better. It’s also a time to be happy about the things you already have.
Patricia Manubay has been passionate about community service, writing, and dreams. She brought her interests together in her award-winning organization Dream Boxes. Currently, she is working on expanding her second organization, Above Apathy, which teaches the importance of being selfless. When she was young, Patricia was bullied and lost some of her confidence. But she was not defeated. Patricia finally has learned to not believe what the haters say; instead, she focuses on what’s important to those who need her help.
Read on to find out more about Patricia and her organizations!
Inspired by Her Own Experiences
Even though it wasn’t her fault, Patricia was bullied for her looks and interests. At first, Patricia thought she was to blame. This diminished Patricia’s self-confidence and unfortunately led to mental health issues. But it wasn’t Patricia’s fault, and now she’s come to realize that and to speak out against bullying and advocate for mental health.
Patricia turned to writing, an activity she has enjoyed since childhood. She appreciated how there were no limits and she could write anything she wanted.
Her unfortunate experiences in childhood motived Patricia to create the organization Dream Boxes to help others. Dream Boxes gives students in need school supplies to prepare them for the upcoming school year. Patricia believes that without adequate school supplies, kids cannot learn their best. She knows this from personal experience as some years she had new supplies but other years she did not. In addition to giving essential supplies, Dream Boxes also provides support and encouragement for those in need.
Working for a Better World
Patricia does community service because she always has a dream to help others and affect positive change. Dream Boxes and Patricia’s newer organization, Above Apathy, are the results of this dream. They show what many of us forget: kindness.
At the young age of Patricia, thousands of students, even including herself, in her community cannot afford their new school supplies during some difficult years. Patricia understands how much reassurance and confidence the new school supplies bring to students when they begin their work at each new school year. Dream Boxes distributes school supplies to many of America’s communities in an effort to give underprivileged kids an opportunity to learn with fresh school supplies. The boxes also contain letters of encouragement, which in some ways are even better than the supplies. The recipient and giver are able to communicate with one another and create a support system for both parties. The most important part of Dream Boxes is telling children they should pursue their dreams no matter the situations they face. A lot of kids have big dreams, but as they get older, they start to lose faith in these dreams. Dream Boxes reminds them that with hard work, the dreams are still achievable. The Amazing Kids! motto is “Dream big!”
Above Apathy is an organization that is about not being apathetic. Apathetic means when someone does not show kindness and concern. This virtual organization for high-schoolers enables members to share and discuss with one another how to change the world for the better.
Patricia was honored by Jefferson Awards Foundation because of her extraordinary volunteering service. When she has received the Jefferson Award, Patricia said her favorite part of community service is being able to bring a light in someone. She does what she says. She shares that her favorite experience was when a struggling officer of Patricia’s club told her that even though the rest of the world seemed to be giving up on her, Patricia did not. Because of moments like these, Patricia was sad to leave when she graduated high school. But we know she will continue to help kids and bring confidence into their lives.
You, too, can make the world better. Patricia mentions that everyone doesn’t have to do a big project, but something small can still help. For example, you could pick up a piece of paper off the ground that someone left or ask someone if he or she is okay. To you, it may mean something small, but to someone else, it could mean the world.
Continuing the Fight
Even as Patricia is entering college, she is still committed to the causes she has previously advocated for. Patricia will be studying psychology and public relations at the University of San Francisco in spring 2017.
She will be continuing to work on Dream Boxes and Above Apathy. She wants to expand these organizations, particularly Above Apathy. Patricia plans to hold more meetings and trainings to help members on servant leadership and volunteering via the virtual platform. She targets to host a leadership conference for young high-schoolers under Above Apathy next year.
Aside from tremendous input on community service and volunteering work, Patricia also has other interests, like fashion. She currently works at H&M and does merchandising and design for the company.
We know that Patricia will be able to great things, and we wish her the best of luck in the future! To all our readers, we hope that you will find your own unique passion like Patricia.