Just doing good


Andrea Martinez

On January 19, Jessica Samaniego, 11, helps paint Longfellow Elementary School for the Compton Initiative. “I had lots of fun and just knowing that the work we did will make someone happy,” Samaniego said, “it makes me feel great about doing it.”

Joey Flores, News Editor

Longfellow Elementary School received a revamp on its campus by people from the Compton Initiative, an organization that revitalizes school campuses and houses in Compton. On the morning of January 19, volunteers gathered to help, and Downey’s very own KIWIN’S and Key Club were there to participate.

Anthony de Leon, 12, is the KIWIN’S president who informed the club of the recurring event.

“I told the club about it after hearing it from a church and we had volunteers come out and it turns out that they loved it,” de Leon said, “so that’s always a great thing to see.”

KIWIN’S members arrived at Longfellow Elementary School at seven in the morning and met volunteers from other schools and churches. This was followed by directions and a prayer for the day to go by safely and successfully. Once the prayer was over, volunteers were split into groups to go work on different areas of the school, and Downey’s KIWIN’S and Key Club were placed near each other. Socialization was prompted between not only the two, but with other volunteers from local places like Artesia and Lakewood. This talkative environment was accompanied with the enjoyment of the volunteer work.

Key Club’s Cynthia Lopez, 10, one of the volunteers who showed up to help the cause, was one of many who enjoyed revitalizing the campus.

“I really enjoyed the painting part of the event,” Lopez said. “My friends and I were painting with both rollers and brushes, and it was a lot of fun,”

The school was painted yellow, even though it was a dull brown before painting started. An hour into the event, the entire front of the school was replaced with lighter tones. The volunteers endured through four hours of painting and cleaning.

KIWIN’S club member Jazmin Alejos, 11, attended the event and loved the work because of inclination towards for community service.

“Knowing that I gave back to the school made me feel really good about myself because like, I love community work,” Alejos said. “I love doing everything to give to my community. As long as I’m doing it, I’m good. I don’t expect anything back,”

The city of Compton is sterotyped for its murky areas, so people like Alejos are trying to disprove this standard and replace it with a more lively community. She, and other volunteers, helped by climbing atop the school and scraping off the grime that had manifested and replaced it with the yellow hue that is now covering the school. Few complaints were heard throughout the day because of the excitement that came with completely restoring a dilapidated campus.

At the end of their four hour working period, the volunteers were covered in paint, sweat, and a smile that came with their selfless work.