This Summer, Choose Greater Than
L ess than two months after his second EXPLO summer
on an idyllic American college campus, Salvador Gómez-Colón awoke to the near-absolute decimation of his hometown in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria — a devastating Category 5 storm — tore across the island, leaving death and destruction in its wake. No power. No clean water. Limited food. No light. Dimming hope. The Island was paralyzed. But Salvador quickly sprung into action, gathering a team to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for solar lighting, hand-powered washing machines, and cell phone chargers for their hardest-hit Puerto Rican neighbors. With Salvador at the helm, Light and Hope for Puerto Rico raised more than $133,000 and distributed 4,100 solar lamps and 1,100 hand-operated washing machines in 14 municipalities throughout the island — tripling their original goal and reaching 3,000 families. Salvador more than raised funds for his fellow Puerto Ricans — he raised his voice for them as well, appearing on CNN, penning Op-Eds for major news outlets, and joining the International Congress for Youth Voices. He was even named one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential Teens for 2017.
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