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Norwalk High School Seniors Raise $11,000 for Charities


Norwalk High School Seniors present Elton John AIDS Foundation Executive Board Member and co-founder John Scott with a $1,000 check as part of their senior project.

By Kristin Grafft

Norwalk High School seniors and teacher Dean Gray were honored at the Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District board meeting on February 3 for their contributions to, “Giving Charity to Charities.”

Gray started the program at Norwalk High School last year as a senior project for the graduating class of 2013. Each senior was to conduct thorough research, present their findings to their classmates, and then vote on which charities they would like to support.

The class of 2013 chose 12 organizations and successfully raised enough money to give each charity a check for $500.

This year, eleven charities were chosen and the class of 2014 managed to raise even more money.

On Wednesday, January 15 charity representatives each accepted a $1000 check to go towards their organization. One student representative from each class also gave a speech at the assembly about why that particular charity was chosen.

Gray spoke at the meeting on February 3 and said, “I couldn’t be prouder of our kids and what they’ve done this year.”

Gray added that, after the assembly, he was approached by one of the Norwalk High School juniors who asked how much money they had raised this year. Upon hearing they had raised $11,000, she responded, “how about 15 next year for ’15?”

“That just shows you where the school is going.” Gray said.

The charities chosen for 2014 were the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, Save the Children, Susan G. Komen, Mercy Ships, Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), SPCA-LA, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, the World Food Program, UC Regents UCLA Stroke Research, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF).

In an email blast sent out by EJAF development associate Andreas M. Schwarz, he expressed his gratitude for the students of Norwalk High School, “not only for selecting EJAF as a beneficiary of this wonderful project, but also for reminding us that each individual can contribute to the urgent work of building an AIDS-free world,”

Schwarz also said, “EJAF often talks about the big impact that small actions can have in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Earlier this month, the students at Norwalk High School in Los Angeles County offered us all an inspiring example of everyday individuals taking a stand against the epidemic.”