By Jennifer Archer, CASA Instructor, Monseñor Oscar Romero Charter School
The Monseñor Oscar Romero Charter School (MORCS) family kicked off our work with CASA with a trip to the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (GWHFC). Students in the Youth Advisory Board were discussing the lack of services for homeless people in Los Angeles, and wanted to see what they could do to help.
After calling around to various homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the area, they found the GWHFC, which serves dinner every night to those in need (and takes volunteers under 14!).
The Youth Advisory Board, along with teacher chaperones and a few friends, worked to prepare and serve dinner to about 140 clients of the GWHFC. The students took on a great deal of responsibility—they ran the food lines, poured water for those who were eating, and did a great job cleaning up afterwards!
The students feel excited about the impact they made, and are already eagerly planning their next trip back. Through their conversations with the clients they served, students were able to identify even more areas of need in our community, and have begun discussing what the MORCS family can do to make changes to solve these problems.
When asked what his favorite part of the trip was, Jason F., eighth grade, paused and then said, “I can’t pick, I thought the whole time was really great!”
It was great to see how engaged in the service the students were. From the early planning stages, all the way through the service itself, the kids took the initiative. This is what CASA is all about—enabling students with the skills to make real change in the community.