Seniors Helping Seniors
Students roll up
sleeves to help refurbish homes
If you take 1,700 high school seniors working
side-by-side with scrapers, paint brushes and cans of paint in their
hands - what do you get? A bit of magic and ear-to-ear smiles from some
from Dobie, Memorial, Pasadena, Sam Rayburn and South Houston high
schools partnered with Rebuilding Together Houston to refurbish 33 homes
around Pasadena as part of the "Seniors Helping Seniors" initiative.
At Pearl Piehl's house in north Pasadena, more than
40 Pasadena High School students were busy scraping, painting and
transforming the exterior of her home. It was a sight that touched
"I live by myself and don't have anyone to help
me," Piehl said. "I appreciate this so much because I've never had
anyone do anything like this for me before."
In northeast Pasadena, an army of students from
Memorial High School rolled up their sleeves and were busy painting,
mowing and landscaping Delores Schoneman's home.
"This was somewhat of a surprise to me and what
they've done is really nice," she said. "It's really nice and the kids
are happy to do it and they get a chance to learn."
Many of the schools worked on the homes for a week,
utilizing students and teachers from agriculture and trades classes to
complete the necessary carpentry work leading up to the scheduled
workday. The five high schools had between 20 and 40 students working at
each of the different sites.
Dobie High School participant Hugo Mora said he
felt proud to be part of the project.
"Some of us have more than enough," he said. "This
is a way to give back to older people who can't do these things for
Houston High School's David Devora said that he feels that the program
should be expanded even more so that other students may experience the
value of community service.
"It would be great if everyone in the high schools
could be a part of this so they can see that life is about more than
just them," Devora said. "We can leave our community better than it was
because we have helped."
Project volunteer and district curriculum
specialist Debi Krampen praised the work ethic of the students,
including the group from Sam Rayburn she shared duties with.
kids just dove right in to this project, rolled up their sleeves and got
to work," she said. "The lessons they have learned in this one day will
last them a lifetime."
In addition to some of the senior citizens having
their houses refurbished, the cosmetology class at Pasadena High School
provided complimentary hairstyling appointments for seniors while
students were working on their houses.
"This is very special to me, it makes me feel
good," said Doris Karcher. "When you look good you feel better about
Pasadena ISD and
Rebuilding Together Houston have been planning the "Seniors Helping
Seniors" event for several months. Rebuilding Together Houston is a
non-profit community outreach organization that provides no cost home
modifications and repairs to low income, elderly and disabled Houston
area homeowners, making homes safer, more accessible, and more energy
"The schools have planted the seed that
community service is an important part of life," said Robert E. Conklin,
executive director of
Rebuilding Together Houston. "These students have done
an excellent job."