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ETHS Student is the Inspiration for a New Song and Book

September 10, 2021  8:00am CT


Olivia Ohlson's lemonade stand
Olivia Ohlson-Ellis at one of her first lemonade stands.


A new song and children's book are inspired by Evanston Township High School freshman Olivia Ohlson-Ellis, who is dedicated to helping her community.


Ohlson-Ellis’s journey started at age 10 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three separate times, Ohlson-Ellis set up a lemonade and cookie stand outside her family’s home to help support patient care at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center. 


When the COVID-19 pandemic began surging, Ohlson-Ellis recognized personal hygiene products were in high demand. So, she started a grassroots project called “Hygiene Kits for Evanston's Underserved” and has distributed nearly 2,000 kits around the Evanston community.


“It’s hard for me to see people who need help and ignore them,” said Ohlson-Ellis. “Both of my parents are very involved in community service, and they passed that on to me.”


Ohlson-Ellis’s local efforts inspired singer/songwriter Jenn Hartmann Luck to write “Lemonade,” which is being released on September 10. It is one of a collection of songs celebrating young people who are changing the world.


Ohlson-Ellis is also the subject of an upcoming children’s book by author Stacy C. Bauer, who is writing a series about kids who are doing extraordinary things to make a difference in their communities.


“It’s really cool and kind of surreal to think two artists are highlighting the community service I’ve done,” Ohlson-Ellis remarked. “I am also happy both are promoting the great work that other kids my age are doing.”