MOUNDS VIEW, Minn. — Mounds View High School senior Meryl Wang’s life before the pandemic was packed with school work, interning, hanging out with friends, gymnastics and more.
"It was definitely really disappointing at first just to feel like we waited for four years of high school and all this is kind of taken away," Wang said.
Now that she had some extra time on her hands, she noticed her mom was busy.
"I didn’t really know that we’re volunteers making masks until I saw my mom bring home a huge whole pile of cloth," Wang said.
Wang's mom was working with volunteers in the Chinese community to sew masks, but the problem was that many of them didn’t have experience making them.
Enter another inexperienced sewer, Wang. The difference though, was she knew how to edit video. She created a DIY video to teachers others how to make masks at home.
"When I made the video, I was just planning to send it to a couple of my friends and then it ended up being shared with my mom’s friend group so it got shared further than I thought it would," Wang said. "I’m really proud of that," she said.
It was shared so much, she and the volunteers have made hundreds, if not, thousands by now. They've delivered them to clinics like United Family Medicine's Sibley clinic, hospitals, and others in need.
So, while part of Wang's high school senior experience was taken, she's been able to give something back.
"When I look back on this I can remember that I learned a new skill and I also was able to help during this time," Wang said.
Wang is heading to the University of Minnesota in the fall. She plans to major in chemical engineering.
Wang and her family are doing this with the help of volunteers from the Chinese American Association of Minnesota, or CAAM.