For physics Junior Douglas Alexander, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro this summer will be one of many immense challenges he has overcome in his life.
Four years ago this week, Alexander was released from a drug rehabilitation facility. Today, he is preparing to make the eight- to nine-day climb around Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa in July. The climb will serve as a fundraiser for physics programs in local New Orleans public high schools.
Through his nonprofit organization, “Climbing Kilimanjaro for the Physics of Tomorrow,” Douglas said he hopes to raise funds for physics equipment such as electronic balances, ballistic pendulums, force tables and resonance tubes for high schools in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.
Since he began fundraising in December, Douglas has raised enough money to provide equipment for Martin Luther King Jr. High School, McDonough 35 College Preparatory High School and Thomas Jefferson High School. High schools such as Benjamin Franklin, Lusher and Chalmette are next on the list to receive equipment.
According to Alexander, the idea to climb Mount Kilimanjaro came to him about 10 years ago while hiking with friends in Phoenix, Ariz. Though he lost touch with those friends, the idea for the climb stuck with him.
“When I went into recovery a few years ago and came back to school, I wanted to follow back up on that idea,” Alexander said.
“It’s a symbolic trip to me for lots of reasons. I’m finally being able to follow through on something I said I wanted to do a long time ago and put a positive spin on it by helping the schools in the New Orleans