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Dec. 22, 2016

Senior sells lip balm for a cause

by Ellie Williams, Staff Writer
Senior Prim Phoolsombat is raising money to send school supplies to Thailand by selling homemade lip balms for $3 each.

She started her own brand called "iono," short for ionosphere, and works with Sherwood student Matt Post, who is the Chief Operating Officer, "I deal with a lot of the behind the scenes work of the organization. I help organize sale locations and maintain our digital presence," Post said.
Senior Prim Phoolsombat decided to raise money to send school supplies to children in Thailand. Morgan Casey
Senior Prim Phoolsombat decided to raise money to send school supplies to children in Thailand.

All of Phoolsombat’s lip balms bear the name "iono" on their label, with a graphic of a hot-air balloon, which she sketches, and Post turns into graphics. "I hope to send the message that students can go beyond their limitations-fly beyond the stratosphere to the ionosphere-with just a little support in their education,” Phoolsombat said.

Phoolsombat has already donated 70 school supply packages to a Thai elementary school with low income students. She also hopes to expand to other areas and have drives to be able to donate lightly used shoes and basic school uniforms.

The decision to raise money for underprivileged students in Thailand came easy to her. "I'm a Thai immigrant, and currently, the Thai public school system is an absolute mess. Schools aren't receiving the benefits of those funds, and students have been suffering in the midst of great political chaos," Phoolsombat said.

Phoolsombat has been passionate about education since middle school student government and has gone on to become SGA-MCR president. "My passion for education reform in Montgomery County has led me to realize the amount of work that needs to be done in Thailand," Phoolsombat said.

The balm is made of organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, vitamins and flavoring.
Senior Prim Phoolsombat holds a bag with a variety of lip balms she made. Morgan Casey
Senior Prim Phoolsombat holds a bag with a variety of lip balms she made.

Beyond Blair, Phoolsombat and Post started a website to sell more of their product. Phoolsombat has also sold her product at markets all around Maryland and Virginia. She will not be continuing this practice into the winter season. A variety of flavors are available from gingerbread and peppermint to rose and coconut.

Phoolsombat guarantees to deliver the lip balms before winter break to Blair students who order at least a couple days before break. "I throw in a gold bag for free with a purchase of 3 balms or more, which is very convenient for stocking stuffers or as a small gift," Phoolsombat said.



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