Students learn leadership skills while collecting hygienic essentials for homeless families

Lucas Wiltjer

Students in the Teen Voice club are collecting hygienic items for the homeless. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Students in the Teen Voice club are collecting hygienic items for the homeless. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill students in the Teen Voice Club are participating in a city-wide home essentials and hygiene care package drive, where hygienic products are collected from various schools and then distributed to homeless across the county.

The Teen Voice program is a community outreach program designed to help students develop leadership skills in a volunteer environment, and give back to the community.

The mission statment of Teen Voice is to “build positive relationships between high school students and their community; to provide opportunities for community involvement, betterment of their school, neighborhood and city.”

Many Foothill students feel that the organization brings the community closer together and unites them with a common goal.

“Teen Voice is a community outreach program. We have members from every high school and we run different programs for benefiting the community,” said two-year member of Teen Voice, senior Amelia Gomez.

The Foothill students involved in Teen Voice have so far participated in various campaigns, mostly targeted at helping other students and families in low income situations.

“Last November we did Thanksgiving baskets where we collected food for needy families. We just finished up our ‘Teens for Jeans’ campaign, and collected 550 pairs to give out to local homeless shelters and we’re starting our ‘Home Essential Needs Drive’ which is pretty much making up care packages of hygiene products to give out to people who need them,” Gomez said.

The current donation campaign is just getting underway, and even though students can’t donate yet, Foothill volunteers are gearing up to throw the project into full swing.

“We’re collecting hygienic things like soap and toothpaste to give to the homeless,” said senior Trevor Morrison, a member of the Foothill branch of Teen Voice. “Our goal is that we collect supplies and materials and hopefully [the drive] is successful so we can assemble little care packages for all the homeless [families] in Ventura.”

History and English teacher Dan Fitz-Patrick, school facilitator of Teen Voice’s Foothill branch, felt that drives like the “Home Essential Needs Drive” gives students opportunities to meet new people and provide services that are commonly overlooked.

“It provides them with leadership opportunities and a connection to those in the community that they normally wouldn’t meet. Both leaders in the community and those being hurt in the economy,” said Fitz-Patrick.

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