Students attempting to make a trip to Washington D.C. trip are venturing into new territory: fundraising.
They have no fear.
They have no shame.
They forgo Christmas and birthday gifts in exchange for cold, hard cash to make their trip payments.
“My hands were shaking,” commented Jaime Mora as he recounted his adventure in cornering the manager of a Hometown Buffet and asking him for fundraising assistance.
Michael Ponce, another 8th grade student, has nerves of steel and has contacted Ralph’s, Mayor Villaraigosa and even President Obama in search of funds, but all to no avail. “We wish you the best of luck in your endeavor but our office is unable to provide any funds to you at this time” is the common response he has received from these notable figures.
Lesly Chavelas is also throwing caution to the wind. Having been kicked out of the Bank of America parking lot twice where she was trying to sell her See’s Candy to make her monthly trip payment of $50, she came back a third time and this time the manager was impressed with her gumption. “You know, I’m going to let you have exclusive rights to this parking lot,” he said, after admiring her spirit.
“Unfortunately, due to our rigid budget there are currently no funds available to provide financial support for your trip”- Mayor Villaraigosa
It is the indefatigable spirit of these South Central L.A. middle schoolers that has allowed the group to raise over $20,000 for the Washington D.C. trip, an amount unheard of in a school community where field trips have grown scarce since the recession. Still, the group is $56,000 short of the $161,00 total cost. The clock is ticking to make final payments.
Parents are forming groups to seek business sponsorships. Teachers have sponsored individual students for at least a portion of the cost of the trip. The entire school community has participated whole-heartedly in the delicious food sales and raffles that have yielded our meager profits.
But the group will need larger funds if this trip is to become a reality.
Do you know someone who can help? If so, please contact the Teacher Leader, Martha Infante, at 323-270-0588 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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