OAKHURST — A Yosemite High School student in the graduating class of 2019 has raised a significant amount of money for a local elementary school’s worldwide outreach solar energy program.
For his senior project, a standard requirement that has students complete at least 20 hours of documented community service, YHS senior Ryan O’Meara chose to raise money for the global Solar Suitcase program of studies at his alma mater, Wasuma Elementary School in Ahwahnee. O’Meara is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Daniel and Agnes O’Meara.
Bass Lake School District tech coach Kris Barnes reports that O’Meara held bake sales and other fundraising activities and, ultimately, raised a total of $1491 for the future of the Solar Suitcase program.
Through the projects designed by nonprofit organizations We Care Solar and We Share Solar, 8th graders at Wasuma learn about electricity and solar power, and construct a portable solar system to help give light to children in places where it’s needed the most. Barnes is the instructional technology coordinator for the district now and, back in 2006-2007, was Ryan O’Meara’s kindergarten teacher at Wasuma.
After shipping their inaugural suitcases for deployment earlier this year, the Wildcats recently learned that theirs was one of nine shipped to South Dakota. According to We Care Solar, the suitcases are intended for Lakota families displaced by catastrophic flooding.
“Henry Red Cloud, descendant of Chief Red Cloud and Solar Warrior, will get the solar suitcase to a family which needs the help,” We Care Solar explained to the Wasuma class. In addition to the national deployment, a second suitcase was sent to the Republic of Kenya in Africa, with a promise of photographs to come.
“Thank you so much for all your hard work to get the Solar Suitcase built and in the hands of those that need them,” We Care Solar adds, directed at the Wildcats.
Now, a big thank you is also due Yosemite senior Ryan O’Meara, as the money he raised will help to sustain the Solar Suitcase program at Wasuma Elementary, at least for now. Congratulations on a successful project!