The Young Philanthropists Of Johns Creek

The Young Philanthropists Of Johns Creek

Johns Creek holds several people who strive to help make their community a better place.
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Philanthropy has become more popular as the world becomes more integrated and connected. We see several renowned philanthropists who work to help other people in several causes, like Bill Gates with basic necessities aid in third-world countries and Malala Yousafzai with girl's education advocacy. Johns Creek also holds several people who strive to help make their community a better place, but they aren't billionaires or world leaders; they are regular high school and college students with a vision to accomplish. Here are some of the young philanthropists of Johns Creek.

Will To Live Foundation

Tommy Trautwein is one of the founders and leading youth figures of the Will To Live Foundation, an organization dedicated to prevent teen suicide by improving the lives of teenagers through mental health education and emphasis of love and hope, and Club Will-to-Live at Northview High School. The Trautwein family formed the Will To Live Foundation after the suicide death of Tommy Trautwein’s brother Will Trautwein in 2010, when the Trautweins decided to turn the otherwise devastating situation into something positive.

That positivity pervades Will To Live’s regularly hosted events benefiting those needing support. Last month, Northview High School’s Club Will To Live teamed up with another Northview club, Make-A-Wish, to host “Wish Night,” raising the money needed to “Grant a Wish” of a local girl to send her and her family on a Hawaii getaway. The club also hosted a “Rock for Ramzy” event after a friend of the foundation’s, Ramzy Stripling, began having trouble with his colon but was having financial trouble with his medication due to the passing of his father the past year. The concert, featuring live music from local acts, raised ten thousand dollars for the cause, helping Stripling pay for his medication. Outside of its many specifically designated events, any money the foundation receives funds the education of teachers and counselors to learn to recognize the signs of potential suicide and what to look for.

“We realized that the subject of suicide was really not talked about that much, so we really wanted to let everyone know that it’s really a problem that does need to be talked about,” Tommy Trautwein explains. “My dad, the founder, just figured, what better way to spread the message of love and hope than through the kids and for the kids throughout your schools, throughout your fellow friends and loved ones?”

He poses a valid question. “Life Teammates” believing in the cause live up to the foundation’s motto, “For the kids, Through the kids, By the kids,” by being able to relate to others just like them.

“Nobody knows the high schooler struggle better than a high schooler, you know?” Trautwein himself seems impressed by the efficacy. “The kids handle it so well, and they’re so passionate about it that there’s really not that many problems,” he muses. “It’s for such a good cause, and it’s so easy to do it and be passionate about it.”

He hopes that infectious passion can take Will To Live even further than the incredible bounds the cause has already taken. The foundation has been featured across numerous major news sources like CBS and CNN News and even a TEDTalk by founder John Trautwein, but Tommy Trautwein is looking to begin Will To Live involvement at the University of Georgia, where he will be attending school in the fall.

“I’m sure that people would grasp onto it,” he asserts. “Just to keep this message getting bigger and bigger, just to help in any way, if any fraction we can save lives, that’s more than enough.”

CRY America

Aarushi Jain is the founder and Student Lead of CRY (Child Rights and You) Atlanta Action Center, a student-led chapter of CRY America dedicated to ensuring child rights in third-world countries, especially India. Aarushi started CRY Atlanta back in 2014 in hopes to get every child around the word to have the same privileges that she is given. Since then, she has been advocating for child rights for all in her community through the chapter.

“I’ve always been so blessed, and we live in Johns Creek. We have so many opportunities; we have so many things around us. And I always go to India every year, so whenever I do go, I see always people on the roads; I see little children not being able to school and not having an education, and it’s really sad,” Aarushi explains. “Like we get such an awesome education. I feel like I should give back to the community, and do something.”


CRY Atlanta has hosted many events in order to raise money for several small villages in such countries like India and spread awareness in order to support the fight for child rights. A couple months back, CRY Atlanta hosted their second annual CRY Holi, where many people celebrate the Indian festival of colors by and throwing colored powder at each other and having fun. The organization has also hosted its CRY Walk for Child Rights, the most notable event for CRY. The event, consisting primarily of a mile walk, music and food, has brought about a couple hundred people to help the cause. Overall, the organization has raised about fifteen thousand dollars from the events to help support the cause.

To start an organization from scratch is very difficult unless you give the effort to nurture and develop it, even when people leave in the beginning. “I think getting this organization started, making it big, was kind of a conflict. I was going to do this organization with a couple of my friends, but then they backed out, and then they thought that we wouldn’t be able to do it; but through perseverance and patience, we worked through it,” Aarushi recalled. “In the end, it took two years to get [CRY Atlanta] going. We are pretty much a well-known organization.”

CRY Atlanta has been featured frequently on news sources like TV ASIA and Khabar magazine. Aarushi hopes, in the future, to get a hands-on experience at many of the projects for child rights in India. “I just want to make a difference in the world,” she added. “I want everyone else to have an equal chance at living the best life they can live."

First Aid For All

Amal Bhatnagar is the founder of the non-profit First Aid for All (FAFA), a student-led organization driven to alleviate medical inequality globally. He started FAFA during his sophomore year of high school after witnessing a lot of poverty in Georgia and other countries, like Mexico and India.

“I’d always see people [in these regions] who wouldn’t have enough of basic resources, such as food, water, shelter, etc.,” Amal explained. “I felt somewhat responsible for this; we, as humans, how can we allow this to happen?”

As a result, he started the organization to focus on the medical inequality in the world.

First Aid for All has been able to work closer to its goals by utilizing a four-way approach: distributing first aid kits, fundraising, volunteering and spreading awareness. For distributing the first aid kits, FAFA has worked with around 13,000 pounds of medical supplies which have impacted the lives of over 320 people; the organization has also held supply drives, where they, for example, received a large donation from Augusta University.

“We also try to connect with different organizations, so, using that, we get the first aid kits, and then we go around to different places to distribute them, such as Atlanta and Athens,” he explained. “Also over spring break, one of our members went to India…He went to the slums of India, and he gave clothes to the locals there so they could support themselves.”

For fundraising, FAFA partnered with several groups like the Atlanta Braves last summer and the World’s Finest Chocolates now to gain funds through sales to help support the projects.

For volunteering, FAFA works with MedShare, where the members help sort and package thousands of medical supplies to be distributed to several needed areas.

For spreading awareness, FAFA has educational talks with community members, like teens in Athens and the elderly in Sunrise Johns Creek and even the Johns Creek City Council, in order to spread their message.

Amal hopes to makes sure that everyone has better access to medical resources and to spread awareness about poverty, especially medical poverty. He feels that starting young in philanthropy can allow more peers to rise up to help out the community and does impress many adults, but it creates limitations in access to resources to expand the efforts to help others.

“What I’ve learned from that is that age doesn’t necessarily matter if you have the passion and the drive to do something,” Amal asserted. “I’m pretty sure you can do it.”

Jr. Hotshots

Grace Hebermehl is the founder of Jr. Hotshots, a basketball camp for 4th to 8th graders with several instructors, and the revenue gained goes to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She started the camp as a small project, which then continued as she started enjoyed her experience with leading the program. She really wants to let other kids learn what she loves: sports.

Her primary focus is to help give an opportunity for the kids to learn how to play a sport, but Grace uses that opportunity to her advantage by donating the money earned from the camp to a respectable organization, so it goes to good use.

The Jr. Hotshots camp held a diverse groups of kids who have never played before. Although new, it also attracted many eager children who wanted to play basketball.

“These kids have never played basketball before, so we had three kids transfer from soccer…” Grace recalled. “We had a kid who turned down an Olympic woman who was hosting another basketball camp and came to mine. It was great.”

Grace was able to do what she loved and spread that feeling with other kids who were willing to try a new skill.

“I did it and I realized I really love seeing the kids grow and smile and love how to learn to play it,” Grace remarked. “I like to play sports; I like to see other kids learn to play it.”


Philanthropy is not an idea that only billionaires can act upon. Many people start up their ways to improve their communities through passion and motivation, holding the desire to give the opportunities and resources they were given to those that were not so fortunate before. These students are no exception. If you have the desire to help out those in need, even the slightest, don't hesitate to do something. Any steps taken can help make this world a better place


This article has been co-authored by Amy Jiang.

Cover Image Credit: Shreyas Kumar

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

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8 Predictable Things You’ll See in Every Men’s World Cup Match

While each soccer game is unique and novel in its own right, there are several guaranteed parts that comprise each match in the international tournament.

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Even though soccer isn't the most popular sport in the United States and our country's men's team even failed to qualify this time around, I love sitting down to watch the World Cup. It could be because I played soccer growing up because I love the unpredictability of sporting events or just because I'm bored, but no matter the reason I can't tear myself away from the tournament that comes around just once every four years. Despite its apparent rarity, I — and likely many others — have picked up on numerous occurrences that seem inevitable for each and every match.

1. A player flops

Stop, drop and roll!!!

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I'll get this one out of the way. In my opinion, this is the most frustrating part about soccer. A strong player who trains for hours a day inexplicably feels the most intense, unimaginable pain when lightly nudged on the arm. He might grimace and roll around on the pitch like he's practicing his fire safety techniques or he might even require the medical staff to miraculously cure him so he's well enough to play like nothing ever happened. As much as I want this to stop so we can actually enjoy the game, it's kind of hilarious.

2. Someone argues a foul

Ronaldo is great at soccer, but not so great at arguing.

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By this point in my life I've realized that arguing with and yelling at people doesn't typically make them want to agree with you, but it seems that no professional soccer players have been lucky enough to learn this. They'll shove someone in the back, miss a slide tackle to slide straight into the opponent's legs or bite someone (I'm looking at you, Luis Suarez), and they'll still get in the official's face and yell when the whistle blows. Like flopping, it's frustrating, but ironically hilarious.

3. The referee makes the “oh don’t you start with me” face

I've never seen this call before.

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We've all seen and made this face before, and referees are no exception. This typically occurs right as someone tries to argue a foul, and sometimes, if the intimidating face doesn't work, they'll reach into their chest pocket and pull out a yellow card instead.

4. The referee runs over to use VAR, avoiding players trying to start with him

The universal gesture that means "I have no idea what just happened so I'm using VAR."

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The newly implemented Video Assistant Referee comes to the rescue, very often now, and it was used at least three times in the Portugal vs. Iran game. This new technology is a great way to fairly clear up controversy about being offsides, catch handballs and to help avoid too many passive-aggressive facial expressions from referees.

5. The cameraman zooms in on attractive fans

Beautiful.

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This hopefully only happens during breaks from the game, but I've seen matches where the cameraman decides the fans are preferable to the actual sport. This is probably some industry technique to boost ratings, especially for some slow moving games, but it makes me think that a soccer game might be a great place for someone to go to jumpstart his or her modeling career.

6. Someone narrowly misses a goal and you have to watch it 18 times in slow motion

This gif isn't from the World Cup, but if you keep watching the tournament you'll probably see similar scenarios. And you won't just see them once, you'll see them over and over and over again.

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There haven't been any 0-0 draws yet in this tournament, but there are some games where neither team can put the ball in the back of the net. There are almost no games, however, where neither team takes a shot. In every single game of soccer, someone will hit the post or knock the ball barely wide of the net, and we watch the same replay an unbelievable number of times. In case you weren't watching the actual game or the first replay, there's no need to worry because there should be at least three more. You can even watch every single fan's reaction to the near miss thanks to all the replays.

7. An overly enthusiastic fan won’t stop blowing a vuvuzela

Poor dog, I'd have the same reaction.

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I don't know whose idea it was to make an obscenely loud plastic horn the preferred cheering technique for soccer fans, but those things are everywhere. They seem to penetrate the sound barrier and even a single one is clearly heard on broadcasts around the world. They're clearly powerful, but they're also a surprisingly neutral cheering technique, since it isn't clear which team the fan is cheering for. Like flops and arguments, I think the vuvuzela tradition is entertaining as well, but I doubt the person sitting next to someone playing one would agree.

8. A player’s skill or stamina will make you very aware of your position on the couch

Live footage of me watching any soccer game

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Every time I watch a soccer game I'm in awe at the players' ability to dangle their opponents as if it's second nature and sprint down the field like there's a cute dog waiting at the other end. I'll jealously wonder how they ever became so skillful in the sport or so athletic in general as I sit on the couch eating snacks and writing sarcastic articles. Now that I think about it, if I ran a lap around the room every time someone flopped or did a few pushups every time I heard the nasally honk of a vuvuzela, I might be as athletic as them too.

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