Carmel High School seniors help older adults thrive


Jasmine Zhang found her passion through her volunteer work.

After volunteering for about six months at Sunrise Senior Living facility, Zhang learned she wanted to do more.

CIC COM 0816 Spice of Life Zhang

Zhang, a Carmel High School senior, founded Spice of Life, a nonprofit that works to provide effective means for better health and lifestyles for senior living community residents. It was formed in December 2020.

“We work to help senior living residents and the elderly live a relaxing and meaningful life and experience the spice of life regardless of age,” said Zhang, who serves as president.

Zhang said her parents helped with the legal papers to set up the nonprofit. She said her peers helped facilitate various activities and volunteering.

Unfortunately, Zhang said, the idea came during the COVID-19 pandemic, so her organization could only put together donation boxes for personal protection equipment, such as masks, which were much needed at senior living organizations.

Now, the students can play bingo and facilitate Saturday activities with a group of 10 to 15 assisted living senior residents.

Spice of Life collaborated with United Under Arts to put together an Easter Show and plans to do another show soon. United Under Arts is a global student-led nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities to everyone to learn about the arts, but especially underserved populations such as children and the elderly.

The other Spice of Life officers are CHS seniors Katherine Yu, vice president, and Rachel Wu, secretary.

Zhang plans on majoring in cognitive science or a related field in college.

“I hope to get involved in something that has a similar impact as Spice of Life (in college),” Zhang said.

Zhang is involving her younger brother, Luke, a Clay Middle School sixth-grader, this year to see if he wants to help run the nonprofit while she is in college.

If not, she said she has some younger friends she can contact to see if they are interested.