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Taft Union High's AVID students drive community change

Taft Union High’s AVID students, led initiatives to improve their community by uplifting their neighborhoods through various projects
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jun 07, 2024

TAFT, Calif. (KERO) — Taft Union High’s AVID seniors, led initiatives to improve their community by uplifting their neighborhoods through various projects.

  • Community service learning projects were put together by recent graduates of Taft Union High School.
  • These projects teach students that it takes effort, time, and commitment to bring an idea to life.
  • A way for these students to identify a need in the community, and then actively transform their neighborhood for the better.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

These avid high school students focus on community involvement during their four years, but it all comes down to their senior project. It's a way for these seniors to identify a need in the community, and then actively transform their neighborhood for the better.

Officials from AVID explained that these projects teach students that community events don’t just happen, they are made and organized by individuals or groups. It takes effort, time, and commitment to bring an idea to life.

For example, one group organized a carnival, with all proceeds benefiting an all-volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing and fostering animals in Taft. Another group created thank-you letters and "goodie" baskets for military personnel. Many of these projects aimed to support the Taft community and its residents.

"There's a lot of graffiti in town and it's not very pretty, so we decided to do something about it," says Issac Torres.

Recent graduate Issac Torres says he wanted a cleaner community, so he and his avid peers took action, improving the skatepark and other areas around Taft for their senior year project.

"The bowl had a lot of graffiti on it so we managed to clean that up," said Torres.

Not only did the students have to secure full funding for the project, but Isaac also mentioned that for most of them, it was their first time organizing something like this.

"You can't just go out and paint over some graffiti because someone owns that, so you have to go write a business letter, you have to wait for a reply," said Torres.

Issac said that eventually, one of their group members, Noah Usrey, secured funding from the local Kiwanis club, which provided the supplies they needed for the project.

"We had to use a lot of paint thinner and aerosol," says Noah Usrey.

Although they had a few months to work on the project, they couldn't finish it due to the multiple layers of paint. Noah mentioned that it would likely take a few more weeks and many hours to complete.

"It was tough because the graffiti is like ingrained in the concrete" continues Usrey.

Officials from avid expressed satisfaction with this year's projects and praised students for continuing to generate innovative ideas. They tell me they're eagerly waiting for what the next year will bring.


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