What's Cool at School: Brownsville Academy High School Marketplace

Staff at Brownsville Academy High School is teaming up with non-profit organization Camba to provide students with free resources, such as personal items, household items and food, at their brand-new Marketplace.
The room in the school is lined with products from food, to household items, to personal care and even clothing, and it's all free for students.

The pantry is a part of a new marketplace at the school that opened as a way to be a free resource for students in need.

"Brownsville is a community where half of the population lives below the poverty line and about 40% of them do not live within range of a supermarket or banks. They're not within walking distance, so it's an opportunity for us to make things a little bit easier for them," says Principal Carol Ying.

Students are able to fill out and submit forms for items that they need from the marketplace.

Staff places those items in bags, and the bags are given to the students privately, to prevent students from feeling ashamed of requesting items from the pantry.

"It's wonderful, to be honest, because it's something different honestly. I've been to other schools and I have never in my whole high school career seen anything like this. It's going to be really useful to us even in school and outside," says student Ashley Stewart.

Right now the marketplace is open to students at the school during the week, and it's open to the public on Saturday mornings.

"We want to go to our community. We're accepting donations from anyone in the community that's willing to donate and like I said, this is just the beginning," says school director Jarrod Colston.

Staff says they hope that with the marketplace, students understand the importance of giving back.