Madeleine K. and Giuliana N. ’25 Receive Dragon Kim Foundation Fellowship

In 2021, Madeleine K. and Giuliana N. ’25 noticed that homelessness was becoming more prevalent in Los Angeles. In an effort to provide support to people experiencing homelessness, they founded the Butterfly Project. The project’s name is inspired by the butterfly effect, the concept that a small change can make a big difference. For the past two years, the Butterfly Project has embodied this ideal by finding simple yet effective ways to help those in need. Madeleine and Giuliana have worked with other Poly students to organize a holiday gift drive, make cards for local homeless shelters with kindergarteners and second-graders, and more.

Madeleine and Giuliana were inspired by Poly alumni Maya Miller ’21, Andres Lizardo and Maaso Ortega ’22, Luke Aloe and Ziko Elkobaitry ’23, Adrian Lazzi ’23, and Steven Li ‘23, all of whom were recipients of the Dragon Kim Foundation Fellowship. The Fellowship provides high school students with $5000 grants and leadership training to run service projects. This past year, Madeleine and Giuliana applied for and received the Fellowship. They used the grant to make care packages for 400 people: 100 each for women, men, girls, and boys. Their care packages included clothing, like socks and hats, and hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and shampoo. The women’s care packages also contained feminine hygiene products and the ones for kids had coloring books and toys. While the fellowship grant paid for most of the items, the Butterfly Project also received donations of dental kits from Delta Dental and socks from Journeys.

Madeleine and Giuliana were supported by a team of volunteers who helped them assemble the care packages. They partnered with two local organizations, the St. Francis Center in Los Angeles and Door of Hope in Pasadena, to ensure that their packages got to those in need.

This year, Madeleine and Giuliana look forward to expanding upon their previous work while also finding new ways to help people experiencing homelessness. They have established the Butterfly Project as an official service club at Poly. If you are a student interested in joining the club, please email Madeleine or Giuliana. You can also learn more about the Butterfly Project on Instagram at @wearethebutterflyproject.