I created this series as a means to highlight the altruistic and meaningful work occurring in local communities throughout the country. Oftentimes, the media rarely highlights positive and uplifting news. Negative and hurtful images are what we are presented with majority of the time. This series will serve as a positive space where connections can be made, good news can be shared and where you can become inspired to do something for the betterment of your community. Thank you for tuning in. Peace, Love and Joy!
The first time I met Chase Clark I was inspired to say the least. Her story and work are proof that our young people understand the needs of their community. It also shows they are not afraid to do something about it.
Chase Clark is a very busy 12 year old who understands that hard work pays off. She is actively involved in her school and community. She is a participant in an array of organizations such as the Sister to Sister mentoring program, Leadership Links, AAU track, the girl scouts and more. She is also an active member of her church, Oak Ridge Baptist Church. There she serves as the CO-Chaplin of the Youth Choir. She volunteers with organizations and programs such as Each Child Counts, Special Olympics, Out the Garden and Make a Wish Foundation. This past year she was able to raise $6,350 dollars for Make a Wish Foundation. In addition to all her extracurricular activities, she still manages to be a great student. Though young she has her head on straight with intentions to make a positive impact on her community. She is the founder of Chase’s Chance Foundation. Chase’s Chance Foundation has a history of making a difference from supporting teachers in the classroom to supporting youth in the community. The foundation partners with non-profits to positively impact the community. Presently, Chase’s Chance Foundation has partnered with the Children’s Home Society in Greensboro, North Carolina. In an effort to bring awareness to their cause. The Children’s Home Society strives to provide support to families and children ranging from adoption, foster care and family stability.
After her Saturday long track meet, I had an opportunity to sit down to speak with Chase and learn more about the work she is doing. Prepare to be inspired!
How do you start you day and with what mindset?
When I start off in the morning I am usually pretty grumpy and tired before I come to myself. After I come to myself, I like to make a list to see how much I can accomplish in a day. If I don’t accomplish it, there is always tomorrow.
Why did you start your foundation?
When I attended Brooks Global Magnet school I was able to participate in many opportunities that allowed me to see different needs in my community. These opportunities showed me that I could do something to help people in my community as well. They have inspired me to always do my best when helping someone in need. For example, when my school started a toothbrush drive I decided to seek help from community members and dentist. I really wanted to help kids who could not brush their teeth because they did not have toothpaste or a toothbrushes. This allowed me to collect more items. Now, I see a need for kids who do not have back packs. My foundation is partnering with another organization to do something about it. My mom always taught me to bless other people so I decided to put that into action.
What campaign does Chase’s Chance Foundation have going on at this moment?
Right now, I am partnering with Children’s Home Society in North Carolina to assist with their backpack and journal drive. I am collecting book bags, toiletries and journal donations to give to foster children when they come back to school. The backpacks will provide a place for the children who have been placed in foster care to have a place where they can to store their belongings. The journals are a form of an outlet. In those backpacks, I am going to include everything they may possibly need or want. I am thinking about getting toys but we are not all the way there yet. I am just trucking along. It is pretty difficult to keep track of all that and school but it’s going pretty well. So far, I have 73 book bags and my goal is 250. For toiletries, I have 550 and for the journals I have about 50.
Note: The count has increased for all items. However, she strive working towards her goal.
Has your foundation ever faced difficult times? Describe what that looks like.
Yes, there are quick times when people get paid. They have the chance to get stuff and give you money. But when it is really slow, it is really slow. You usually don’t get anything really quick and you are at a standstill with everything. One example, was when I was doing Make a Wish and trying to raise $6000. It started (the process) slowing down, slowing down and, slowing down. I was just like can we stop and leave it at that, I think I raised enough anyway. My mom was like, no, you have to get to $6000 because you are going to bless one kid and it will all be worth it in the end. I think a month after that people started to donate $100, $200 and $300. It just started to make up for all the lost time.
Where do you see Chase’s Chance Foundation in the future?
I hope it becomes a well-known foundation and that people start giving more. I hope it inspires someone else to start a foundation. That is ultimately my goal.
How do you balance Chase’s Chance Foundation, school, sports and your volunteer activities?
I honestly don’t even know. I just try my best.
What has been a major factor in you dreaming big and going after your goals?
Definitely, the people that surround me…my village. They always encourage me to do my best and try everything I can because there is always tomorrow. That is what I grew up around.
What advice would you give a peer who has a goal but is afraid to go after it?
I would quote Nike and say “Just Do It”
Where do you see yourself in the future?
When I grow up I would definitely prefer to be debt free. I would not want too big of a bank account but I would not complain if I did have one. My dream job would be a pediatrician or a dentist. I switch back and forth between the two. This might seem really weird but I have a fascination with teeth. I pulled every single one of my teeth out. It’s just seemed right to me and I have talked to other dentist. It seems like a cool job to have. Then a pediatrician…I like kids of all sizes, unless they are disrespectful, but I like kids. I like learning about the human body and seeing how it works. It’s really cool.
Describe your perfect day?
A perfect day for Chase is probably staying in the bed until 10 or 11 o’clock because I do not get to do that very often. Watching T.V., movies, eating and drawing. That would be the perfect day.
What role has your faith played in your life?
I can actually use what I just did as an example. Everything that I start or everything that I am about to finish or even if I am in between…whenever I get scared I just pray. Like when I was at the front line at the 200 meter dash I just started praying. When he blew the gun I thought I was going to lose because I was running against people who were one to two years older than me. I thought I was going to lose but I got second place and I am okay with that.
If you want to make a contribution or learn more about Chase’s Chance Foundation contact firstname.lastname@example.org.