By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
The class of 2015 graduated Saturday and in full Topper tradition, left a gift to the school in their name as they go.
The class this year has worked with staff and volunteers to make their gift far reaching, in order to impact the youth of the community as young as elementary with display holders that will house resources for students.
LAHS students Jyelyn Bold and Kimberly Pestovich represent the senior class gift committee for 2015 and have worked to make their idea become a reality. How do the students feel knowing their gift could assist in lifting up not just the high school students, but those across the entire district?
“It’s important to start young with regards to prevention,” they said. “We need to build a stronger support system for each other within Los Alamos as a whole, and this donation can help continue that process.”
The class representatives want the community to know they really hope their gift will make a lasting change in the high school. They say that there are a lot of hurting kids, and it is important that they know that they are not alone. The first hour their brochures were available to be accessed, they were already being utilized by students.
“I think the message the class would like to leave on the community is that no one is alone,” Bold and Pestovich said. “We have to bring students together and decrease stress. School should feel like a safe environment for everyone. We want to build a community in which all students feel supported through their struggles, no matter what difficulties those might be.”
The pair doesn’t see a particular moment as defining in their time at LAHS, but describe their four years together as a journey like no other. They say the loss they have experienced together has softened their hearts and made them stronger as a class and as individuals.
The money to purchase the display holders and classroom book sets were raised through years of fundraising by student council members, since their freshmen year. Their brochure holders will hold information available for students and families on making friends, getting a good night’s sleep, bullying, how to handle stress and more. The gift also includes three elementary classroom sets of books called Wonder, by R.J Palacio. The story follows a youth with a facial deformity as he joins public school. The story illustrates the battles some kids face every day and how they can succeed with the help of a small group of friends.
When this class of 2015 was just entering the halls of Topper Territory, they received a financial donation from the previous senior class of that year. They will honor the tradition by passing on nearly $1,000 to the upcoming freshman class.