Battling a recession and student's procrastination, Downey High School's annual food drive fell short of its goal by 4,000 cans, still managing to result, however, in the donation of nearly 11,000 cans to needy families within the community."We didn't exactly reach our goal," said ASB Commissioner of Campus and Community Yaheli Aguilera. "It's kind of disappointing, but we are in a recession and maybe that had something to do with it. It doesn't really matter that we didn't reach our goal, though, because we still got in a lot of foods and it helps." Striving to help the less fortunate families of their community, Downey High's ASB expected to reach their goal of 15,000 cans within a week. However, they quickly extended the food drive for an extra week when the grand total reached nowhere near the numbers from previous food drives. The outcome was a nearly doubled amount of cans within the first day of the extended second week, drastically raising numbers to a total of nearly 11,000 cans. The difference lay in the students. "Kids wait until the very last minute," said Commissioner of Pep, Spirit, and Assembly Liz Bernstein. "They love to procrastinate and when they have that extra time, they're just running to turn stuff in-just like with homework." Though teenagers today are indeed the prototypes of procrastination, it seems that there was an added push to the mix-the teachers. When notified to help encourage their students to actively participate in the food drive, Downey teachers rose to the occasion, giving extra credit with each can and inspiring speeches to their classes. One teacher that stood out among others, and has continued to stand out in previous food drives, was Rodney Bremer, whose advanced placement Calculus class alone brought in around 4,000 cans this year. His method lay in piquing the logic and emotion of his students. "I think it's important to help out people who are less fortunate than we are," said Bremer. "I try to convey that to my students and we don't raise all the food that we raise for a pizza party or anything like that-we do it for good, for helping others. I think I have just been able to inspire my students to really step up, maybe more so than other teachers and students have. I just really try to push reason behind it and the importance of helping others on my students and I'm very fortunate that I have really good students who I can connect with-they have a lot of compassion for others, as well." Downey students and teachers express gratitude that they played a part in helping their community rather than dwell on disappointments. Ultimately, the food drive was a success.
********** Published: December 4, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 32