Brophy students have always found ways to go above and beyond the community service requirements that include freshman breakaways, Loyola Project for sophomores and Ignatian Service for Juniors. They often find causes and projects that intersect with their own unique commitments to making a difference in the world. And Rayan Farhoumand and a group of his friends are no exception. They believe passionately in literacy and that books and reading can make a huge difference in people’s lives, and they are acting on those beliefs.
Describing their efforts, Rayan, a junior at Brophy, notes, “My friends and I have created a committee/club that coordinates collecting and donating books to send to different communities across Arizona in the hopes of supporting literacy, accessibility to knowledge, and encouraging a greater appreciation for books. Our club is named Drives Empowering Actions via Learning, or DEAL for short. Our initiative's goal is to recycle not just paper, but also ideas and knowledge. We are leveraging equity, promoting literacy, and pushing for people of all ages to rediscover an appreciation of books."
The DEAL mission statement: DEAL’s main focus is to create equitable access to means of knowledge and education through sustainable efforts. Recycling books redistributes resources and revives their value, reducing environmental waste and degradation, and improving literacy. DEAL is committed to supporting other institutions and organizations by partnering and further providing resources that assist in expanding our service-oriented core values. DEAL seeks to bridge a growing socioeconomic gap and foster attitudes of inclusivity, service, and growth. DEAL aspires to engage high schools with youth taking the lead to be agents of social change in their communities, leading with positivity to be role models for young people in our society.
“Last year we sent 3,500 books to the Navajo Reservation to support a local nonprofit's mobile library and community center; this year we are expanding our efforts and engaging other schools in sending books to low-income neighborhoods, refugee families and Native American reservations across Arizona,” says Ryan. “This week we have already donated another 2,000 books to the San Carlos Apache Reservation, providing books to the San Carlos Apache Juvenile Detention Center and Saint Charles Mission School, and to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Guadalupe.”
Collection boxes are set up around Brophy’s campus and DEAL is working with teachers to encourage students to donate. The group has also established partnerships with local bookstores such as Changing Hands, Bookmans, Half Price Books and VNSA, and recently added Arizona School for the Arts.
DEAL is also expanding to assist other groups of people who don’t always have access to books. The organization recently received the go-ahead to work with some local refugee organizations.
Besides Rayan, other students in DEAL are Joseph Mansour ’25, Evan Caplan ’25, Spencer Millstine ’25, Dean Ketcham ’25 and Graham Ketcham ’27, as well as Savannah LaBerge ’25, a junior at Xavier College Preparatory. If you have books you would like to donate you can leave a message on DEAL’s Instagram account (@brophy.deal.club) or email firstname.lastname@example.org