Carmel Valley Students Do Whatever It Takes

92130 residents Pearl Park, Sammi Dorfin, and Safi Jafri are taking part in Whatever It Takes (WIT), a social entrepreneur and leadership program that provides college credit for high school teens – the only course of its kind in the country – encouraging young people to take risks, pursue their passions, and rebound from failure through the creation of their own social enterprises.

Pearl, a Torrey Pines High School senior, has become the president of the newly revived nonprofit organization The FULL Project, which works to alleviate food insecurity among San Diego youth during school breaks. “I recognize that I am privileged in that I can pursue my interests through a variety of programs and activities, like WIT, and I am extremely grateful for this fact,” she said. Involvement with WIT has also helped Pearl improve her social and professional skills, and allowed her to meet other like-minded people who motive and inspire her.

Sammi moved to San Diego from South Africa in 2010, and now attends the San Diego Jewish Academy. Her personal enterprise is The Playhouse News, a newspaper written entirely by kids for the enjoyment of other kids. Through this project, Sammi hopes to inspire young people to write journalistically and read for leisure, as well as give them the opportunity to have their voices heard. “My favorite aspect of participating in WIT has been all the valuable conversations and discussions I’ve been able to have with other teens and with my facilitators,” said Sammi. “I have also enjoyed the countless opportunities with which I have been provided.”

Safi is a junior at Canyon Crest Academy. As Muslims, Safi’s family has been the target of undeserved judgement and prejudice, igniting in a Safi a desire to make a positive change. Safi’s enterprise is called WhiteHat, a platform that educates high school students through misunderstood and overlooked personal narratives. Safi finds and interviews well-known speakers, community members, and others with interesting stories to tell and learn from. “Every teen has something that sets them apart,” he said. “However, what makes us all similar is that we love what we do, and that is doing whatever it takes to make the world a better place.”