Design, build, transform

There are countless programs in and around Downey which offer volunteer opportunities for students. However, the programs are designed so students may offer their services but they do not go beyond that idea. The Stay Young program is designed to go beyond the norm, and to encourage students to serve their community in an innovative and creative approach. I came to be a part of this program shortly after meeting with the Stay Gallery directors. I had originally perceived Stay Gallery to be a space for artists to showcase their work, but after being exposed to the Stay Young program I learned it is so much more than that. The Stay Young program is so different from any other program of its kind. It uses a more creative and hands-on approach to involve students in the community. The program breaks the barriers of just offering services and allows students like me to actually be part of facilitating a project. It begs the question ‘How can we do this?’ rather than ‘What are we being asked to do?’ Being involved in the designing process gives me an entirely new perspective of the projects I am involved in. By limiting the restrictions, it allows me to think for myself and be apart of something that is helping my community. The program also provides a link for different groups of students. Since it does not target any particular group, the program can range from poets to engineers all coming together to find ways of accomplishing the same task. This allows students to be exposed to new people and new ideas that they may not have been familiar with before. Students are capable of so much more than what we are restricted to and the Stay Young program offers us the opportunity to be more creative and intelligent individuals, and learn to think for ourselves and carry out what we would like to see accomplished. Kelly Salinas is a student at Warren High School, class of 2016. She is currently ASB vice president.   ********** Published: June 19, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 10