Seniors are engaged for change

ENGAGED+FOR+CHANGE%27S+FIRST+FUNDRAISER-+Members+%28from+left+to+right%29+Layla+Rodriguez%2C+Nayelly+Solis%2C+Briana+Heredia%2C+and+Rebecca+Romero+hosted+their+first+event+at+MACES+on+September+19%2C+2020.+%E2%80%9CMaking+a+difference+in+the+community+by+giving+back+to+those+in+need+has+been+a+passion+and+a+goal+at+the+same+time+but+I+treat+it+more%2C+as+a+rule%2C+to+live+by+if+that+makes+sense%E2%80%9D%2C+said+Rodriguez.

Photo Courtesy of Maritza Maldonado

ENGAGED FOR CHANGE’S FIRST FUNDRAISER- Members (from left to right) Layla Rodriguez, Nayelly Solis, Briana Heredia, and Rebecca Romero hosted their first event at MACES on September 19, 2020. “Making a difference in the community by giving back to those in need has been a passion and a goal at the same time but I treat it more, as a rule, to live by if that makes sense”, said Rodriguez.

Wendy Caldera, Social Media Editor

Engaged for Change is a project created by seniors Briana Heredia, Layla Rodriguez, Rebecca Romero, and Nayelly Solis. They hope to make changes in their communities and to make people smile. 

This project was created because Romero wanted to help shelters who were suffering from a lack of resources because of the pandemic. She then reached out to her closest friends in search of support and that is how it all began. “Our purpose for this project is to support those in need and make our community better,” Solis said. 

Coming up with a name was not an easy task. In their name, they were looking for something clever and that captured the gist of their goals. The first name they all liked “Helping Hands” already existed. Layla was the one that suggested the name “Engaged for Change” which won with a unanimous consensus.

On September 18, the girls organized their first donation drive where people were welcome to donate clothes, hygiene and disinfectant products, and packaged food. The donations received were sent to the Women and Children Crisis Center located in Whittier and the Youth Emerging Stronger which is located in Los Angeles.

The two organizations were chosen after each member conducted research and discovered the purpose of organizations that stood out to them the most. “We all searched up different shelters and those were the main ones that stood out to us and [we] all agreed to do those after looking at their missions and purpose,” Heredia said. They hope to help out similar organizations in the future.

The donation drive was a huge success. They received more donations than expected which resulted in Mr. Gomez, the school’s athletic director, bringing his van to help deliver donations. “We would like to give recognition to Mr. Marquez, Mr. Gomez, and Ms. Ostos for helping us at our donation drive,” said Romero. 

With no days off, the members are already prepping for their next event. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, they are working on making “blessing bags” to distribute to the homeless in Downtown LA. They will be collecting nonperishable foods, drinks, hygiene products, and more. People can find more information about this upcoming event and future events on their Instagram page @engagedforchangeproject.