MAKING A DIFFERENCE: From left, La Salle Academy students Tianli Jiang ’21, Tianyi (Peter) Cheng ’21 and Gianni Diarbi ’22 helped provide 4,000 medical masks to local nonprofits through their Mask Task Force. (COURTESY OF LA SALLE ACADEMY)

Providence RI – Over the summer, three La Salle Academy students formed the LSA Mask Task Force. The project, which brought together Cranston’s Tianli Jiang ’21, Tianyi (Peter) Cheng ’21 and Gianni Diarbi ’22, resulted in seven local nonprofits receiving 4,000 medical face masks and the creation of a poster aimed at educating the community about COVID-19 safety.

In May, Jiang, a Chinese exchange student, watched as a deadly virus spread across his country. Unable to help due to travel restrictions and safety concerns, he decided to make a difference here in Rhode Island. Jiang asked Rosanne Trissler, La Salle’s head librarian, to serve as an advisor before recruiting Gianni Diarbi, a junior, and fellow exchange student Tianyi Chen, a senior.

“Tianli told me that he was reaching out to companies in China to see if they’d donate masks,” Trissler explained. “I told him it was a great idea.”

China’s Hongcheng Public Ltd. donated 4,000 masks, of which Jiang distributed 800 to McAuley Ministries, 800 to Tides Family Services, 800 to House of Hope, 600 to the Scalabrini Dukcevich Center, 500 to San Miguel School, 250 to Ocean Tides, and 250 to St. Patrick’s Mary House Soup Kitchen.

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