Last week students and community volunteers worked together at Pasadena High School sharing their time, knowledge, and efforts for the first time in a very long while.
Hosted by Pasadena Educational Foundation, members of the USC Trojan Affiliates, an alumni group, and players from the Caltech women’s soccer team, performed a day of volunteer service alongside Pasadena High School students. It was the first time a community day of this broad scope has taken place since COVID campus lockdowns have been lifted. Many volunteers had personal connections to the school and were happy to serve a beloved alma mater.
The day began with special visits by Dr. Brian McDonald, PUSD Superintendent, and PHS Principal Hernandez, who thanked volunteers for their efforts. PHS Green Club student leaders gave volunteers an overview of the club’s goals and student-designed garden plans. Together they set to work on the club’s ongoing efforts to install a native garden and create more waterwise green spaces on campus.
Not only was it a day of service, it was a day of learning as well. Under the guidance of Jill McArthur, PUSD Farm to School Coordinator and Master Gardener, PHS students have learned many waterwise garden techniques. Now it was their opportunity to share that knowledge with volunteers. (Do you know what a hügelkulturl is? Students and volunteers built one in the garden.)
There was even something special about the day for the teachers, too. USC Trojan Affiliates volunteers upgraded the new PHS teachers’ lounge and kitchen. Using items they had donated, they arranged cozy decorative elements like coffee tables, pillows, and flowers in the lounge under the direction of one of its members, an interior designer. Others set up the adjoining kitchen with a new microwave, coffee machine, coffee pods, and other kitchen essentials. Pasadena High teachers will now have a more inviting space to enjoy.
With over 20 schools and 14,000 students in the Pasadena Unified School District, our schools connect our citizens across social and cultural lines in ways no other public institutions can. And everyday that kinship shepherds a sense of pride in our community that may be hard to measure, yet is vitally important to our collective quality of life. Our schools champion effective and engaged citizenship for students and community members alike.
This day was just another shining example of that vital connectivity. By working together to improve our schools, everyone can take pride in an uplifted community. For over 50 years, the Pasadena Educational Foundation has supported and celebrated the great work of all of our public schools. They do more than teach; they inspire our entire community to be the best it can be. Go PUSD!
By Nancy Carol Inguanzo | PEF Volunteer & Engagement Manager