Lincoln High student turns service project into passion project

Kendall Bodner donated hundreds of handmade masks to Swift Creek Middle and Buck Lake Elementary, her alma maters.
Published: Sep. 6, 2020 at 11:55 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Kendall Bodner, who is turning 17 years old soon, has been doing big things. What started as a service project became a passion project, and it has taken Tallahassee by storm. Bodner is making a difference, with one handmade mask at a time.

Bodner is not your typical high school junior. She attends Lincoln High, and throughout the summer she taught herself how to sew with her home sewing kit. She felt inspired after attending a seminar at the Boston Leadership Institute, which asked attendants to challenge themselves by creating a project related to the virus.

Bodner says although masks were not the first thing to come to her mind, she is glad she stuck with it.

“It kind of just struck me as I could actually just do something useful and good, and I guess that is where I got the motivation to do them,” she says.

Kendall, with help from her teachers, researched different studies, specifically finding data from TSI. She found that masks made from materials many people already own had a higher filtration efficacy than other masks, and were also proven safe to wear.

“I realized that ‘Oh my God you can make masks that are 84%' and since then more studies from TSI have come out specifically on one of the materials called ‘filty’. Where it can get all the way up to 95% percent where technically an N-95 is 98%,” she says.

And the masks do not just work, they function. The handmade designs feature adjustments on the ears and nose, perfect for students and adults. That is why Bodner donated hundreds of masks to Swift Creek Middle and Buck Lake Elementary, her alma maters.

“I kind of just sprung the masks on them,” Bodner says.

Bodner started a STEM club at her school. The masks started as a service project but it quickly became more.

“Kind of figured, why wait? This is the perfect opportunity to do something good, but also to fundraiser for our club. It is not just about me but other kids get to experience this too,” she says.

Her masks are being worn across the nation. Bodner hopes to keep her city of Tallahassee, and other towns, safe.

“Here is finally an opportunity to do something good,” Bodner expresses. “And to use my voice, and to use my skills to my advantage to make a difference in a time like this.”

These masks cost $7, and $5 for teachers, with the first mask being free. You can email for more information.

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