Amal Bhatnagar, 18, of Duluth, Ga., a senior at Northview High School, created a student organization that has provided more than a thousand first-aid kits to people in the U.S. and overseas who lack access to basic healthcare. While volunteering at local hospitals three summers ago, Amal saw patients whose innocuous bruises had progressed into infected lacerations because they did not have basic first-aid supplies. “I realized that a bandage, such a trivial healthcare supply, was so effective and yet so elusive for underserved, powerless populations,” he said.
The following year, Amal set out to address the inequality in access to quality healthcare by distributing first-aid kits. After recruiting a few friends to join him, collecting donations from family members and acquaintances, and raising more than $1,000 with the help of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, Amal distributed over 300 first-aid kits in Atlanta and Athens, Ga. He then organized mission trips to India and Jamaica, and delivered first-aid kits and other medical supplies to poverty-stricken areas of those countries. Since then, Amal’s nonprofit, called “First Aid for All,” has attracted hundreds of middle and high school students from schools across Georgia and Alabama, who raise funds, sort and package medical supplies, make public presentations, and participate in a variety of health-related volunteer projects. Amal estimates that his initiative has improved access to healthcare for more than 1,100 people so far.