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Haley Kurisky, a freshman at Rice University, creates her own designs on tennis shoes and gives the profits to the American Diabetes Association.
At the beginning of summer of 2012, my friends and I were decorating some plain shoes, and I created a design that I loved. I got so many compliments that I eventually started buying plain tennis shoes, decorating them, and selling them to my friends, who told their friends.
I decorate the shoes using paint. I often recommend dark shoes like red or navy with white paint, and sometimes people buy them in red and white, as those are the school colors for the school I graduated from, Memorial High School. I also monogram each pair with a fabric marker on the backs or the sides.
Shoes are about $30-35 a pair. At first I kept the profit, paying back my mom for all the supplies, but I realized that the money could be put toward something especially useful. I then redirected the course of my shoe business, called SuperStar Shoes, so that 100 percent of the proceeds goes to the American Diabetes Association. My grandfather had diabetes, and there are many pre-diabetics in my family. I am a member of a group called the American Diabetes Association “Sweethearts,” and each girl in this group raises $2,000 or more every year in addition to service hours. This year I surpassed my $2,000 goal, and I couldn’t have done it without the shoes.
As I begin pre-med studies at Rice University this year, I am excited for what the future holds. I hope I can continue my work for charities like ADA. Despite all the money raised for diabetes research, there is still not a cure. I hope to one day live in a world where no one has to worry about insulin pumps or blood-sugar levels.
I want to say thank you again to the Spring Branch Education Foundation and the Neubauer family for recently awarding me the Monica Neubauer Memorial Scholarship, which was $1,000. During the awards ceremony, SuperStar Shoes was mentioned as one of my achievements – helping to find a cure for diabetes while selling cute shoes. I was happy, knowing that my work had come to fruition. I am so excited for the next chapter.
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