Name, Age: Brooke Gensler, 16.
School: Coronado High School, junior.
Accomplishments: Brooke, who takes Advanced Placement classes, plays tennis and softball for her school and is active in Sacred Heart Church's youth group, has launched a drive, “Layers of Love,” to collect blankets for the underprivileged.
Key to Awesomeness: Brooke said she has thought about the blanket project for several months, in part because of the time she spent with friends Miranda Marston and Hollyn Toomey making sandwiches and delivering them to areas in San Diego where they know the homeless gather.
They found that for about $50 they can buy enough peanut butter, bread, fruit, crackers and water to feed 50 people. Sometimes her parents have paid, but most the time she uses proceeds from her holiday gifts or babysitting money.
“I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as how many people,” she said. “A lot just said ‘Thank you’ or ‘God bless.’”
Siena Garcia, one of Sacred Heart's youth ministers, said Brooke is a quiet girl, but will speak out because of her faith and her desire “to go out and do something about the things she wants in the world.”
The blankets will be given to Father Joe's Villages in San Diego and Sisters of the 11th Hour, a Tijuana charity. Brooke read about the latter group in a book about Mother Antonia, a former Beverly Hills resident who has served the poor for two decades.
Brooke, also a member of the National Honor Society, hopes “Layers of Love” will continue.
“It would be neat if it could be an annual thing with NHS to put it on or maybe my youth group,” she said.
Next up: Brooke wants to collect 500 blankets. She plans to present them to her chosen charities by Nov. 13, in time for Thanksgiving. If you want to donate, drop off new or used blankets in a box at office, 650 D, or the offices of the , 120 C Ave.
Youngsters and teens selected as Whiz Kids receive a prize package from , including a luncheon and an afternoon at the resort. To nominate a Whiz Kid, send the student's name, age, grade and a list of accomplishments to email@example.com. Only Coronado residents are eligible