Students Helping Students

A group of sixth grade students from Del Mar Heights Elementary School is making a difference for homeless students at Monarch School. Sixth grader Isa Wiklund, her mother Oriana Wiklund, and classmate Natalia Mochernak wanted to do something to give back to the community, and decided to raise donations for Monarch School, which has served students who live in shelters, motels, single-room-occupancy housing, at camp sites, in cars, or on the streets for more than 30 years. Isa and Natalia then got other classmates Ian Arnold, Bella Pavan, Kathryn Reese, Grant Smith, Madeline Canning, and Makena Khoury involved – all of whom are members of Del Mar Heights’ Dolphin Leadership Club.

The group organized a two-week fundraiser at their school, which included donation cups in every classroom, collecting donations every morning during drop-off, a bake sale, and a special performance of “We Are the World” at the talent show to raise awareness. “It was a full-school effort,” Natalia said. “Everyone helped – all the students, teachers, and staff.” Much to the students’ surprise, they raised a total of $945.51 in cash donations, as well as hundreds of items most needed by the homeless student population at Monarch School such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, shampoo, lotion, hairbrushes, and lip balm. “It may seem small,” said Isa, “but these things are important for kids who go to Monarch School.” The experience showed the students that they can make a difference by giving to others in their community.