The 19-year-old sophomore and political science major will deliver more than 3,000 bottles of water to Flint in April.
When Penn State Behrend sophomore Seun Babalola was a summer intern for Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign, the 19-year-old sat in on a meeting in New York City that he’ll never forget.
The meeting included Clinton; her husband, former President Bill Clinton; and four mayors from cities nationwide.
Karen Weaver, mayor of Flint, Michigan, spoke about the city’s devastating, yearslong water crisis. It made an immediate impact on Babalola.
“If I’m able to open up a bathroom and drink water, and someone in the United States hasn’t been able to do that for the past three years, that’s not going to sit well with me. I’m going to try to help,” said Babalola, who recently held a fundraiser for Flint, collecting more than 3,000 bottles of water and $300 that he plans on delivering to Michigan in April.
The political science major collected the bulk of the bottles during four-hour shifts each day between March 14 and 17. He solicited donations from one of several fundraising tables that Behrend keeps inside the Reed Union Building.
Babalola said he and a few others from Behrend will be filling a moving truck with the water and driving it to Flint on April 10. They will deliver the water to the Mission of Hope, a church and food bank in that area. The water will go to needy residents and community centers, he said.
Flint is one of a dozen cities and communities in the Erie Vital Signs project, which tracks trends and community indicators in the region’s critical areas and compares those numbers in similar areas with Erie. The initiative was launched by the Erie Community Foundation in 2010.
Babalola, who leads Behrend’s Student Government Association’s Diversity Committee, said he plans on studying at Penn State University in the fall, and later pursuing a Ph.D. in African…