UA Club Working to Address Clean Water Crisis

Ashkan Rastegar
March 8, 2013

I am from Iran, and my family decided to move to the United States so that I could obtain a better education and be able to pursue my dreams of becoming a doctor.

I started high school in Tucson and tried my best to immerse myself in the culture. I found comfort in performing magic tricks for my peers because it gave me a sense of belonging aside from the joy of entertaining others.

It was the summer of my junior year when a good friend of mine told me about a non-profit organization called The Thirst Project.

I spent some time exploring this organization and found that it was a movement of high school and college students who were raising awareness for the 1 billion people on our planet that do not have access to safe, clean drinking water.

My friend and I thought to ourselves that Tucsonans would really appreciate this organization because they understand the importance of water. We started a club at our high school and were able to invite the chief executive officer and founder of The Thirst Project, Seth Maxwell, in order to inform students of the water crisis and how they can make a meaningful impact in solving this issue.

Meeting Maxwell and hearing his story of how he came to start such an organization was truly inspiring. From that moment on, The Thirst Project had a whole different meaning to me.

I loved everything about the organization, and knew I wanted to be as involved as possible. It wasn't just about collecting donations to build wells, it was about raising awareness of this major problem in our world and letting people know how easy it is for us to make such an impact that will literally save the lives of hundreds of people.

You see, when you give a community easy access to safe, clean drinking water, they no longer have to spend an average of eight hours per day traveling to a dirty water source and getting sick from drinking it. They can then focus their time on obtaining an education and contributing positively to their society.

When I came to the UA, I collaborated with Kelly A. Reynolds to conduct a research study on the effectiveness of the solutions that The Thirst Project has in place. Through my research, I was reassured of my passion for this organization and decided to continue the spirit of The Thirst Project by establishing the UA Thirst Project Club.

To this day, our UA club has raised $1,520 for this powerful movement and continues to do so through our Crowdrise fundraising page

Ashkan Rastegar is a UA Honors College student studying pre-phisiology and Spanish.



Resources for the media