EPISD Student Spotlight: Eli Carrasco, Brown Middle
(BROWN MIDDLE SCHOOL -- Nov. 24, 2020) — Brown student Eli Daniel Carrasco has found a perfect way to combine his passion for playing hockey with his desire to raise awareness about people fighting cancer. The young hockey player, who plays in the El Paso Rhinos youth program, participates every year in the St. Baldrick’s Event during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. He asks friends and family to donate money and in exchange he shaves his head … along with many local hockey players and coaches. In this edition of the EPISD Student Profile, Community Engagement sat down with Eli to talk about his dedication to serve, his passion for hockey and how he’s coping during the pandemic.
EPISD COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Tell us about who or what inspires you to give back to cancer patients by cutting your hair and making beanies?
ELI DANIEL CARRASCO: My grandfather was diagnosed with cancer in 2017. The El Paso Rhinos have been supporting a charity called St. Baldricks, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to help. St. Baldricks is a charity that funds childhood cancer research by raising money for people to shave their heads.
CE: How are you ramping up production of your beanies and how do you donate them?
EDC: I have invested in a knitting loom machine to help improve the pace of making the beanies so I will be able to donate them. I may be donating them to the El Paso Rhinos for distribution to children fighting cancer in the hospitals.
CE: How old were you when you started giving back?
EDC: I was 9 years old when I first fundraised and participated in my first head shaving for St. Baldricks. After every shaving I let my hair grow out, but it has never been long enough to donate.
CE: How are you staying motivated and involved in school during the pandemic?
EDC: My teachers keep things interesting and keep me excited for what’s to come.
CE: What are you involved in at school?
EDC: I am in orchestra and I play the cello.
CE: What challenges have you faced as a result of the pandemic and how have you overcome them?
EDC: I started in a new school and was excited to meet new friends, but I have only been able to meet them through online meetings. Fortunately, between all the lesson seriousness (total seriousness) in class we have had chances to chat and get to know each other in breakout rooms. I have been playing ice hockey with the El Paso Rhinos since I was four years old. Due to the pandemic, it has kept us from practicing as a team. Luckily zoom workouts and chalk talks have kept us going.
CE: What do you want to be when you grow up?
EDC: I’m currently exploring my career options, but I know I want to be involved in a hockey community alongside my career.
CE: What is the first thing you plan to do when the pandemic is over?
EDC: Visit all of my family and hug them! And finally meet my new friends.