Project/Media Update

Pomerado News December 21, 2017

posted Dec 22, 2017, 11:00 PM by Elena Crespo

4S Ranch resident seeks wheelchairs for less fortunate

Elizabeth Marie Himchak

4S Ranch resident Elena Crespo is reviving her wheelchair collection efforts while on winter break from Stanford University.

Crespo, a sophomore majoring in public policy with aspirations to get a master’s in international policy studies and attend law school, said she still has a desire to help the underprivileged like she did while a Del Norte High School student

During her sophomore year, Crespo founded the nonprofit organization Let Children Learn as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. It had several components, including a used wheelchair collection drive for children in Latin America.

Crespo said during her high school years more than 50 wheelchairs were collected. She still has volunteers in her organization and, as a Girl Scout alumna, is working with younger Girl Scouts on their service projects. Therefore, while Crespo will return to college on Jan. 9, she has people in the area who can pick up used wheelchairs and walkers, even those needing repairs or missing parts. To schedule a pickup, email her at

They will be sent to Wheels for Humanity, an organization in Latin America that can fix and will distribute the devices to the disabled in Mexico and Costa Rica.

Crespo, the daughter of 4S Ranch residents Julie Purdy and Ivan Crespo, said she is also planning more outreach efforts for Let Children Learn that she can pursue during summer break. They include a project that helps poor children in Belize learn English and establishing a preschool in Guatemala where indigenous youngsters will be taught Spanish, the language spoken at the elementary schools they will attend.

“When they are in kindergarten they fail because they do not have the (language) skills necessary for success,” she said.

She also learned about an “incredibly exciting” project in Bolivia in a community close to where her relatives live where young people living on the streets can participate in a music program. It gives them an extracurricular activity to help them stay out of trouble and teaches them skills while working at a music recording studio. “This is near and dear to my heart,” she said.

Crespo said many of her efforts have been made possible through donations and matching grants from various organizations, including Rotary and Kiwanis clubs. Next summer she will also hold some fundraisers, she said.


Copyright © 2017, Pomerado News

Emerging Leader Award-Partners of the Americas

posted Nov 11, 2017, 4:20 PM by Elena Crespo   [ updated Nov 11, 2017, 4:22 PM ]

Partners of the Americas held their annual meeting in Portland, Oregon on September 10-11th, 2016.   Elena was asked present her projects with which she collaborated with Partners as well as receiving an Emerging Leader Award.  

Wisconsin-Nicaragua Partners Lending Library Update

posted Apr 3, 2016, 1:52 PM by Elena Crespo

I have held two fundraisers and a check is going today to the Wisconsin-Nicaragua Partnership for $1200 to help them build a lending library!

Prudential Youth Volunteer Award for 2016

posted Feb 16, 2016, 10:08 PM by Elena Crespo

Let Children Learn is awarded one of the top 12 spots for California's Prudential Student Volunteer award... 

California's Top Two Youth Volunteers Selected in 21st Annual National Awards Program

Encino and Mission Viejo students earn $1,000 awards, engraved medallions and trip to nation’s capital

Honors also bestowed on youth volunteers in Walnut Creek, San Diego, Laguna Hills, Portola Valley, Beverly Hills, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Margarita and Emerald Hills

Read more about it at:


Partners of the Americas Annual Meeting Sept. 10-11, 2015

posted Sep 13, 2015, 7:39 AM by Elena Crespo

Partners of the Americas held their annual convention in Portland, Oregon September 10-11th, 2015 and I was asked to present information about working with four Partner's projects:  The hearing aid lab (S. Carolina-Cochabamba, Bolivia), the internet access (Vermont-Honduras), the lending library (Wisconsin-Nicaragua) and wheelchairs for Wheels for Humanity (Oregon-Costa Rica).  This was an incredible opportunity to talk about working with Partnerships not in your area which worked very well for me.  In addition to presenting, I was awarded an Emerging Leader award by Stephen Vetter, CEO of Partners.  

We have added a new project-and it is in San Diego!

posted Aug 24, 2015, 8:07 AM by Elena Crespo

We are going to work more closely with the Monarch School in San Diego. The Monarch school provides services to homeless children in San Diego and we will work to provide them with the tools they require to allow their students to be successful!

July 92127 Magazine: Distinguished Young Women of San Diego

posted Jul 5, 2015, 10:44 AM by Elena Crespo

I'm off to Bakersfield in a few days!

Plastics and Panama

posted Jun 21, 2015, 4:44 PM by Elena Crespo

One of the most beautiful things about Panama are the amazing beaches... Being sure to recyle and using multi-use water bottles will help keep it that way!  

From Rise Above Plastics:  

Ten Ways To Rise AbovePlastics

Here are ten easy things you can do to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:

  1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water.  Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
  2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other disposable plastics.  Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at BBQs, potlucks and take-out restaurants.
  3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
  4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them.  A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
  5. Go digital! There is no need for CDs and DVDs when you can buy your music and videos online.
  6. Seek out alternatives to plastic items.
  7. Recycle.  If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.  Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
  8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup.  For a list of our beach cleanups, click here.
  9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
  10. Spread the word.  Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!

Obtaining Certificate for Gold Award from Senator Joel Anderson

posted Jun 20, 2015, 7:07 PM by Elena Crespo

I obtained a certificate from Senator Joel Anderson today (June 20, 2015) for completing my Gold Award.  

Appointed to San Diego Youth Commission

posted Apr 28, 2015, 8:22 PM by Elena Crespo   [ updated Apr 28, 2015, 8:57 PM ]

I have been appointed to be on the San Diego Youth Commission which looks at the issues affecting youth in San Diego.

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