Lindsay Adams is on a mission. She wants to save the world, one child at a time. And her desire stretches across the world. A senior in the Baylor School of Education, Adams traveled to Kenya in the summer of 2012 with Baylor’s Straw to Bread program. Upon arriving, she was shocked to learn that the orphan children in the community could not attend the Bethlehem Home Academy, the closest school, because they couldn’t afford it.
Adams wanted to find ways to make the children’s lives better, so she returned the following year, this time working on her thesis project in Bethlehem Home Academy, researching the success factors that make the school the best in the area.
“They have a huge orphan population,” Adams said. “Since it was a brand new school, there is not a lot of money involved. Even though it’s a resource-poor school, it’s phenomenal.”
After hearing about the children, Adams’ friend Maddie Danielson, a Baylor senior and fashion design major, was inspired to help through her own talents. But the idea of creating a collection of bow ties actually came from Danielson’s brother.
“He said, ‘Hey you should make bowties.’” Danielson said. “His text message struck some chord in me and set off this avalanche of ideas.”
Within the next month, Danielson created eight one-of-a-kind bow-tie designs from different materials. Once a website was created, sales rolled in.
Each bow tie had a name attached to it, so whenever a customer purchased a certain bow tie, a portion of the proceeds went to a specific orphan to send them to Bethlehem Home Academy. Once all bow ties for that specific child sold out, that child’s education (approximately $200 per year) was paid for throughout the entire year.
“It was fun to work with one of my friends and share this vision with Maddie,” Adams said. “I love telling people about Kenya, but when people jump on board and do something that supports what I love, it warms my heart.”
“For me, education is one thing that is too often taken for granted but has the power to change lives in epic proportion,” Danielson said. “One of my favorite parts of this company is that when you buy a tie, you have a name and picture of someone just like you that you are enabling to have the same shot at life that you do. You get a spiffy conversation started for parties, and they get a chance to rise above poverty. It’s a win-win!”
Adams is majoring in University Scholars — with concentrations in biology, sociology and educational psychology — while also working toward teacher certification in elementary education and gifted and talented education. She is currently an SOE teaching intern, working Monday – Thursday in a second-grade classroom at Woodway Elementary.
“I want to be a teacher so that I can can contribute to making the world a better place through education,” Adams said. “Working with students is my favorite part of every day as an intern. And making sure that children have the best classroom experience possible is a goal that goes with me to Kenya every May. I am passionate about giving the Kenyan students hope, just like my students here. I am confident that empowering students will change our world.”
Adams said she loves the program in Baylor SOE and would recommend it anyone passionate about education. “I have been challenged, encouraged and taught to love this career more than I ever thought possible,” she said.
While both Adams and Danielson are graduating this year, Danielson plans to continue making bow ties that support children and women in need. And Adams will continue to visit Kenya and to help children through her career in education.
Orginally posted on Instant Impact