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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Hawaiian Teens Recycle To Help Students Pay Tuition

At first, Genshu Price did recycling for its own sake. Price’s father once said it was a good way of saving to pay for his college tuition.

This junior high school student from Hau’ula, Hawaii said, “It was my father’s idea to collect cans and bottles of drinks to pay for my college tuition later. Then I thought, I can make it into something bigger and can even help students Another Hawaiian.”

So this teenager decided to launch an initiative called “Bottles4College”.

Genshu Price (right) and other volunteers at SW King Intermediate School in Kāne’ohe, Hawaii, sort cans and bottles for “Bottles4College”, March 18, 2021. (Photo: Maria Price/Bottles4College via AP)

Price explains, “We wanted to create a system where at least, every year, we could send one or two kids on full scholarships to college. So that would require two to four million cans and bottles of drink.”

With the help of his parents, and sometimes the help of a few volunteers, Price collects hundreds of materials for recycling each week.

They then sort and sort them before delivering the produce to a local recycling center. There he received money from the exchange of the recycled goods.

Genshu Price stands in the back of the truck after loading it with recycled cans and bottles from Kualoa Ranch in Kāne'ohe, Hawaii, for a fundraiser "Bottles4College", May 2021. (Maria PRice/ Bottles4College via AP)

Genshu Price stands in the back of a truck after loading it with recycled cans and bottles from Kualoa Ranch in Kāne’ohe, Hawaii, for the “Bottles4College” fundraiser, May 2021. (Maria PRice/Bottles4College via AP)

The founder of the “Bottles4College” initiative said, “It’s really about hope. As we said before, the cost of living in Hawaii is very high, COVID is even adding to that difficulty. And as a Hawaiian kid, I understand, I mean as a kid. who also lives in Hawaii, I understand that it takes a lot of money to live and stay at home and eat every day. I want to make way for students who may not be able to afford, or are unable to attend college on their own.”

Meanwhile, mother, Maria Price said, “There are so many things he learned from this experience and because of that we believe that this is part of his education.

Through many challenges and setbacks due to COVID, his family continues this work with renewed hope to expand the activity.

A trash can painted by students for the Genshu Price fundraiser, Bottles4College, is placed in an office at SW King's Middle School in Kāne'ohe, Hawaii, October 10, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Maria Price)

A trash can painted by students for the Genshu Price fundraiser, Bottles4College, is placed in an office at SW King’s Middle School in Kāne’ohe, Hawaii, October 10, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Maria Price)

Price explains it this way, “One of our goals is to provide public recycling materials collection points in every state school in Hawaii. We currently have sites in two public schools in Hawaii, and we hope to expand. That way, we will have a gathering place in every community, where that way, every community can and will come and give support.”

One such place is SW King Intermediate School, the junior high school where Price attended, where they have also held massive collection events for recycled materials.

Price explains, “We haven’t collected enough. Like I said, it takes 2 to 4 million, a lot, cans and bottles of drinks. So it takes a lot to be able to send a child to college. We’ve now collected more than 100 thousand cans and bottles of drinks, the total weight of which is more than 2.27 tons.”

Price insists that every bottle, every can of drink is precious. “It’s really challenging. Every can, every bottle, counts. One can after another, one bottle after another.” [uh/ab]

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