Columbia Star

Cardinal Newman School student honored for contributions in Columbia

Noah Omura

Noah Omura

Noah Omura, a 14-year-old student at Cardinal Newman School, was recently featured in Rustic Spirit Spotlights for his amazing impact work. During the summer, Omura volunteers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center to weave mats out of plastic bags for homeless veterans.

Plastic bag mats, also known as plarn mats, have advantages over normal sleeping mats because they do not get waterlogged during a storm or attract bed bugs, and they also help to reduce plastic bags in landfills. Omura attaches a tag with the numbers for the Veterans Crisis Line and the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, in hopes those in need can reach out for help when they are ready to do so.

Omura gave a TEDx Talk to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the project and also gave a virtual demonstration to the American Red Cross on how to create the mats.

Omura enjoys playing basketball, editing photos and videos, watching movies, and playing games with his friends. Currently in middle school, Omura already has plans for his future. He wants to major in business and take up his father’s job when he retires.


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