Students promote donations to charities in 10th grade English class

Ms. Navarrete's Honors 10th grade class are doing presentations to persuade audiences to donate a charity of their choice.

By Kayla Lee, Editor in Chief

To end the 2019 Fall semester on a positive note, English teacher Ms. Nancy Navarrete’s Honors 10th grade class are giving back to the community. Through presentations, the students developed an argument on any topic with the goal to persuade their audience to donate to a charity of their choice.

One student, Henry Estevez, focused on the homeless crisis.

“It’s more on why this is happening, what this is doing to our economy and what we can do to better it,” he explained.

After giving a homeless man $20 for his needs, Estevez witnessed an act of kindness.

“The man went to a liquor store and bought more food for the rest of the homeless that were around him. I was amazed by that,” Estevez said.

With different problems facing the homeless such as drug abuse and mental illness, Estevez is raising awareness in hopes to help bring people out of homelessness one step at a time.

Jessica Cervantes advocated for higher standards to control a major health issue: obesity.

“I feel that here in America, the rates are going way too high for kids and adults,” she said.

Through donations, she hopes to help those in need and lower the rates of obesity.

Focusing on what he believes is the most important issue affecting our environment, Dylan Frye focused on climate change, detailing what it is and its effects.

“People know of it and that it’s bad, but they don’t actually understand how bad climate change is and how it’s going to really mess up our earth,” he said. 

Another student, Trace Hernandez, sought to educate people on what lies behind the products we use in our everyday life.

“People don’t know that a lot of their tax money goes towards animal testing and they also don’t know that it’s unnecessary,” she said.

Although an assignment by their teacher, students have expressed their eagerness to present and their confidence with their project.

“I really do like this project because it’s more hands-on. It’s work, but you get to present,” said Hernandez.

At her previous school, Ms. Navarrete held presentations on a larger scale and had widespread support from the school administration.

“The principal or other teachers would come in to watch, help assess them and decide where the funds would go,” she said.

With this being the first year for the presentations at Van Nuys, the project has been kept very small-scale. Only the students in her class, other teachers and herself are donating. In the future, she hopes that the project can grow bigger with the help of other students to send larger funds to organizations.

Using her role as a teacher, Ms. Navarrete aims for more engagement from her students with issues outside of the classroom.

“I hope that students will have real-life application with what we’re doing with argumentative writing and research and that they feel passionate about giving back to the world and that they are able to make an impact.” Ms. Navarrete said.