The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Food Drive, Avid Recognized for Local Service

With various clubs such as Haiti Solidarity, ODFL, Amnesty International and many more, the school has made a huge impact on global issues. It has helped educate, rebuild and better the lives of a plethora of people in developing countries. There is no doubt that these issues are very important, but because these clubs have drawn so much attention, a void has been left in attention of local issues.

Many would rather send books and toys to another country as opposed to sending them to Mountain View or other neighboring cities. Why is this? Is it more appealing to put on a college application? Are the local issues not as important because they happen on a smaller scale? It can be easy to be ignorant of local issues, such as hunger and education, when not facing those problems yourself. However these issues do exist, and the school should start making a larger impact on the local community.

Luckily, several groups on campus are already invested in local community service. To begin with, the annual food drive is a perfect example of Los Altos giving back to its local community.

“Second Harvest families rely on the food bank to provide enough food for them,” ASB Vice President senior Rachel Pinkelman said. “While people are struggling globally, not everyone in our community is as fortunate as we are.”

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Each year, the school holds the Second Harvest Food Drive in which food and money are donated. One dollar can help provide two meals for families who are financially struggling in this area. This year, the food drive raised around 10,000 pounds for the local people in need and $4,785.95, a quarter of which was sent to those affected by Hurrican Sandy. As a school, we need to follow in this lead and commit to more events that make a big impact in the community.

“It may also seem that because we are so fortunate where we live, it is impossible for people in our community to be struggling like people in other countries, while in reality that’s not true,” Pinkelman said.

A second great example of students involved in local issues is the AVID department’s support the local community.

“A lot of times for our final projects, our teachers will assign us a project where we have to find a way to help give back to the community,” senior AVID student Glenda Vargas said.
For example, Kimberly Garcia, a junior in AVID, started A Cure for Cancer Club. Other students such as Glenda and senior Brianna Ellington make sure their respective clubs such as Latino Student Union and Black Student Union give back to the local community.

“We learn what it takes to be a leader,” Brianna said. “It’s about learning how to lead and give back to your community.”

AVID does not limit itself to local deeds and services; many of the students play big roles in groups such as Haiti club and ODFL. While AVID students participate in global activities such as Run for Zimbabwe, they also maintain a commitment to the local community and make it a priority, an example more students should follow.

“This is where we live,” Brianna said. “The community does all this for us, gives so much to us. It feels good to give back. Whether it is helping to tutor younger kids or help put on local events it feels good to give back. I feel like I owe something to this community that has educated me and helped shape me.”

Whether it is a lack of recognition about the local issues or prioritization of the larger global ones, it seems as if the school has done amazing work for the international community while neglecting the local. The school should continue in the vein of the food drive and AVID and strengthen its commitment to the local community. The best part is that since the work is local, just a short distance away, students can become involved immediately.

“It is good to be aware of the global issues, but I feel like locally is where we have to start,” Glenda said. “Why not start off in our own local community and then branch off globally? You don’t need to travel to another continent to help people out and to help change lives.”

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