Peninsula High School AVID students are leading their peers to help high school students in Texas that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
AVID — short for Advancement Via Individual Determination — is a college preparedness program active in several Peninsula School District schools.
The school the students are helping — Pasadena High School in Pasadena, Texas — also has an active AVID program, said Kim Demianiw, AVID site coordinator and teacher at PHS.
“When I mentioned it to (the students) they were all in with all of their ideas,” Demianiw said.
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The students are running a “PHS to PHS” donation drive through Sept. 27 to collect school supplies and toiletry items for the Texas high school.
I think it’s a great opportunity for AVID students to promote something they’re passionate about and we’re here to support them.
Danielle O’Leary, dean of students and ASB adviser for Peninsula High School
The donation drive has the full support of the school’s administration, Demianiw said, and is working with the leadership class to spread awareness and host a contest among first period classes to gather supplies.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for AVID students to promote something they’re passionate about and we’re here to support them,” said Danielle O’Leary, dean of students and ASB adviser for PHS.
Working to earn their service hours, the AVID class of juniors is enthusiastic about the project and supporting fellow students.
Grace Thomas, 16, and Kiely Newsom, 16, are two of the AVID students helping organize the donation drive.
“It’s basically giving back,” Newsom said. “Any help we can get would be crazy good.”
Thomas agreed: “Because of the hurricane their school was set back two weeks, and this (donation drive) is to help get them back on track.”
Shipping is currently a strategic problem that Demianiw is working with other teachers to solve. To ease shipping costs, AVID students are asking for donations of gift cards to Target, WalMart or Office Depot, all businesses the Texas school has nearby.
Along with the item donations, the AVID students are also distributing cards for other PHS classes to sign and send to the Texas high school to help boost morale on campus.
The teens added that including the competition aspect will help motivate their fellow students to participate in the drive.
“We’re a really competitive school, so that helps us move ahead,” Thomas said. “We want to do as much good as we can.”
“We’re competitive, but we’re thoughtful, so we want to give back,” Newsom added.
Donations of school supplies, toiletries and gift cards will be gathered at Peninsula High School from now until Sept. 27.