Be the Change surprises student with scooter after flood of donations

By Rebecca Panico | Published Oct. 20, 2016

Dr. Suzanne Bousquet knew she had to help when she learned that Will Leak had fallen due to complications from cerebral palsy, a condition that affects a person’s muscles and their ability to control them.

“When he fell, that was the moment when I thought of Be the Change,” said Dr. Bousquet, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kean University.

On Oct. 7, she reached out to Be the Change, an organization that has been helping people locally and nationally since 2008, and its founder, Dr. Norma Bowe.

Today, members of Be the Change surprised Leak with a scooter in the lobby of the Center for Academic Success building, where he works. The group raised over $600 within a week by asking for donations on their Facebook page, Dr. Bowe said.

“I’m always astounded at how everyone has each other’s back,” said Dr. Bowe. “And I think in a world where people are always thinking of themselves it’s incredible to see how these Kean students just care about each other.”

Leak, a graduate student studying psychology, explained that he was born with cerebral palsy.

“I tore a muscle, so that’s why it’s hard to breathe right now,” Leak said, referring to his recent fall. “I don’t worry about it too much, but everyone else does.”

Lauren Foley, a photography major who has been working with Leak in the CAS for over a year, always noticed it was difficult for her coworker to get around.

“He’s a really nice guy and he definitely deserves something like this because he’s very helpful,” she said.

Be the Change has a number of other projects in the works, including sending a Bloomingdales teddy bear and gifts cards to Zianna Oliphant, the young girl who spoke out at Charlotte City Council in North Carolina against a recent police shooting.

They’re also raising funds for the Flagg Labor Annual Toy Drive on Dec. 15 at Enoteca Ursino, located in the STEM Building. Tickets are $25. To learn more, visit their Facebook page.

Rebecca Panico may be reached at Follow The Tower on Twitter@KeanTower. Find The Tower on Facebook.

Comments - review our comment policy