Emauni Jeanise Manley became an author at the age of five and she is already making a difference in the lives of her classmates.
The second-grader in Charles County, Maryland, realized some of her classmates can’t afford school lunch so she started raising money via Facebook to help them.
“I saw some kids just eating a cheese sandwich. So I was like, ‘I need to do a fundraiser so I can get more money for kids,’” Manley said.
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She discussed with her mum, Rosalynd Manley, who explained to her that sometimes kids don’t put money on their account or they don’t have money to put on their lunch account so they have to eat different food.
With the help of her mother, who also works at the school, Manley started the fundraiser on Facebook to raise money to get lunch for her colleagues.
On the fundraiser page on Facebook she wrote: ” Hello World, It’s me….EmauniJ!
I need your help. I have witnessed a few students in school having to eat cheese sandwiches because they have unpaid balances on their lunch accounts, having to witness this made me really sad. I spoke to my parents and my manager and told them how I wanted to help. I told them I wanted to create a fundraiser so that people in the community could help us to pay off the balances of as many students in the school as we can. PLEASE HELP ME. No amount is too small. My goal is to have all donations by January 31 so that all of the students can start off fresh on February 3rd. All donations collected for this fundraiser will go directly to the unpaid lunch accounts of my classmates. “
Her initial goal was $800 but she’s already raised $4,701 in 13 days. Despite exceeding her goal, she will still continue raising money for her classmates and their school lunches.
“It’s really cool to see a student who’s 7 taking the initiative to impact other students at the school,” Principal Ben Harrington said, adding that out of 500 students, about 100 receive alternative lunches, though the system does its best to keep that from happening.
“Elementary school students have a $25 deficit. They can go $25 before they get the alternative meal. Once you get into that deficit, sometimes it’s difficult to come back,” Harrington said.
There’s more to the thoughtful seven-year-old kindergartener with the brand name ‘EmauniJ’. At the age of five, she wrote a book titled “What Do I Look Like?” to instill pride and confidence in anyone who reads it.
She is not your regular kindergartener, she is also a model. She modeled last year during DC Fashion Week. She has her own clothing line, the EmauniJ Collection, a T-shirt line which she designs herself featuring some of her favorite sayings.
“I typically don’t take them that young because the parents are usually as indecisive as the child but they all, Emauni included, proved to be driven, determined and supportive,” Valencia Clipper-Davis, Emauni’s manager said.
Emauni’s new goal is to assist several schools with their unpaid lunch balances.