Viking Closet

Karla Ramirez, Leticia Ortiz, Writer, Photographer

Open every Friday at snack and before school, the Viking Closet is a new program created by teachers and Dean of Students, Mrs. Velazquez, at Downey High and run by the students, in order to help students in need necessities that are unavailable to them, and also help transition students along the way.


As advisor for the Service Learning Club, Mrs. Santa Cruz encourages her students to join in on the project. The  Service Learning Club students helped set up the racks, delivering them and rounding up the clothes.


“Well, Mrs. Velazquez brought it up and then another teacher brought it up, and it just kind of started with that,” Santa Cruz said. “She invited the service learning leadership class to participate and help coordinate with the transitional students that have special needs; that way it could benefit everyone.”


As part of the Service Learning Club, Samantha Juarez, 12, speaks about what it was like helping in this project and becoming part of something that will be able to help many students in the long run.

“It was a really fun experience, even though we were just setting up,” Juarez said. “It’s nice to know we at least had a small part in something so great.”


Referred to as the driving force behind the project, Dean of Students, Mrs. Velazquez, presented the idea to her colleagues in hopes of getting this project up and running for students to be able to use. Velazquez saw this as an opportunity to help students in need, along with helping the transition students in their daily life skills. Dean Velazquez once worked with transition student classes, which helped her craft the idea behind the Viking Closet.


“The benefit and the beauty of working at a high school is that we have kids that are motivated and always want to help,” Velazquez stated, “but at the same time we have students that are in need but are too embarrassed to come forth, so why not make it school wide and have our students who have those transition needs practice their skills at the same time.”
The Viking Closet is open to all students every Friday, before school and at snack, and is located at the side entrance of the X building. No payment is necessary for the items students take and no return is necessary.