Every year Compton schools work together to organize canned food drives to support families in need. That tradition continued this year at schools including Willowbrook Middle School and Clinton Elementary School.
In partnership with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Willowbrook Middle School's recently formed Students In Action team worked with ELA instructor Pennie Childs-Greshon to inspire their classmates to donate food items ahead of the Thanksgiving break.
Willowbrook's Students In Action team is led by (above: from left to right) eighth-graders Alexandra Cervantes, Esperanza Castro, Jennifer Tostado, and Anilu Baños.
Esperanza said she hopes that as the Students In Action team finds more ways for students to give back to the community they will also challenge negative perceptions of Compton.
"People view our community badly but maybe doing things like this can give it a better name," she said. "We hope the food we donate feeds a lot of people who really need it."
Alexandra said it is important for students to see they have the power to make a difference.
"I want to influence people's lives positively and help make sure no one feels less than anybody else," she said.
For Jennifer, being able to help others is a reminder of the many things she is thankful for.
"I'm most thankful for my family, that I have a home, that I can go to school and do something big in my community. I'm also thankful for the opportunity to inspire the whole school to give to others."
At Clinton Elementary students and staff donated Thanksgiving food boxes for families in need.
Fifth-grader Emelyn Loya didn't hesitate to contribute a few cans of food and said she appreciated having the opportunity to do something great for others.
"There's people who need food so they can have a happy Thanksgiving," she said. "I'm thankful I'm able to make others happy."