Nshira Turkson and Stephanie Asante say their marketing teacher, Vera Woodson (middle), and Nshira's father helped them through the long process of filing to create a nonprofit organization.
In Virginia, two seniors at West Springfield High School have taken what started as a project in marketing class far beyond the classroom.
The project began when Nshira Turkson and Stephanie Asante had to come up with a business plan in their marketing class last year.
Since the two friends both had relatives in Ghana (Asante was born there), their plan was to find a way to gather clothing and toys for toddlers at an orphanage where Nshira volunteers in the summer.
"We really thought that it was just gonna be collecting toys and then sending it to my aunt to give it to the kids," Turkson says, "but, Woody...she just hits you with all these ideas and all these things."
Woody is what students call their teacher, Vera Woodson.
She knew the girls were bright and passionate and wanted them to make the project into something they could carry beyond their high school years. And so she suggested turning "Goo Goo for Ghana" into an actual nonprofit organization, or a 501(c)(3).
"I planted the seed, and they looked at me as if this can't be done," Woodson says.
But after months of paperwork and some guidance from Woodson, "Goo Goo for Ghana" is now a registered nonprofit. That means it can accept monetary donations as well as gifts of clothing and supplies.
Stephanie says the smallest things make a difference for the children they'll be helping.
"They don't have the opportunities they have here to grow and evolve as they could," she says.
Stephanie and Nshira say they'd like to expand their organization to other parts of Africa.
But right now, their priority will be creating a Web site for the charity.