When you’re living on a very minimal budget, preparing to go back-to-school can be stressful between the supplies and the new clothes. One teen decided to do something to help students by creating a closet full of free back-to-school gear.

Thirteen-year-old Chase Neyland-Square is an 8th grader at Port Allen Middle School in Louisiana. He is also the brilliant mind behind the school’s new PAM’s Pantry.


In a small closet at the back of the school gym, students can walk in and choose from racks full of donated shoes and clothes. The Pantry also features floor to ceiling shelves full of school supplies.

“I know that everybody doesn’t have things and I’m fortunate to have things that other people don’t have,” Neyland-Square told local CBS affiliate WAFB. “I look at it as sometimes, how would I feel in this situation?”

Neyland-Square’s idea for the PAM Pantry was born during a special summer program, the Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge (SPARK). Students come up with ideas and collaborate on how to implement them. “We ask them what they want to do to make the school better and through that, we have changed drastically some of the things that we do here at Port Allen Middle School,” Principal Jessica Major explained. “Our kids wanted more books in the library that they enjoy. We took a survey so all the books in the library are based on what the kids like to read.”

The purpose of the SPARK program is to instill leadership skills in students which they can carry with them in the future. It’s clear from his incredible idea that Neyland-Square has definitely developed those skills.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Artem Beliakim via Pexels



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