Jamal Giornazi, Samariddin Meliboev, and Kai Suematsu are seniors at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder and graduates of George Washington High School, where all three received DSF services from Emma Keppes at the DSF Future Center, but their journeys together started even earlier.
Jamal and Kai met in the cafeteria in 6th grade, and have been best friends since. “Kai is a leader”, says Jamal when asked to describe his lifelong friend. Jamal and Kai met Samariddin, who moved to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2014, in high school,
Inspiring Other Students to Give Back in High School
In partnership, the three of them started the Denver Club of Humanities at George Washington High School. The club was created to reduce food waste from restaurants and stores and deliver that food to those who need it most. What started as a hobby after Kai saw the need to address food insecurity in his community, flourished into a 501(c)3 nonprofit powered by over 60 student volunteers. “We were a group of students who felt compelled to solve problems,” says Jamal. By senior year, the Denver Club of Humanities created a food pantry at George Washington to address needs they saw directly in their community. “We learned the true definition of community through the Denver Club of Humanities,” says Kai.
Upon graduating from high school, Jamal, Samariddin, and Kai left the Denver Club of Humanities in the hands of new student leadership and pursued their college dreams of enrolling at CU Boulder. They knew that college would allow them to tackle even bigger issues and give back to the community on a larger scale.
The Kobu Foundation – Their Service to the Community Continues
One of the defining characteristics of their friendship, all three say, is “we like to challenge each other.” It is in this spirt that they were able to create The Kobu Foundation, which provides resources to support residents in Denver and Boulder through food box deliveries, and awards scholarships to students inspiring their communities.
The weekly food delivery is in partnership with local food banks, including Community Food Share which serves Boulder and Broomfield counties. Every Friday, Jamal, Samariddan, and Kai, along with student volunteers from CU Boulder, head to Community Food Share to pack 20-30 boxes of food to deliver around the area. Volunteers spend about an hour packing boxes with seasonal vegetables and fruit, eggs, and nonperishables. The group loads boxes in their cars and heads out to different neighborhoods, delivering food to vulnerable individuals, most of whom have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kobu Foundation inspires the belief that anyone has the power to improve the community in which they live. Jamal, Samariddan, and Kai credit their College Advisors and the DSF Scholarship in helping them improve the community in which they live. Samariddan says, “Because of DSF, there is a group of people who are invested in me as I work to meet my educational goals. Like many DSF Scholars, I am motivated to master ethical integrity while serving my community.”
To learn more about Jamal, Samariddan, and Kai, please join for our 2021 DSF Annual Gala, on Wednesday, October 13th beginning at 5:30pm at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center where this spectacular trio will be our featured Scholar speakers. Learn more and purchase tickets: https://denverscholarship.org/2021-dsf-annual-gala/