TUCSON, Ariz. -- Starting community engagement -- early.
That's the message from a showcase tonight at Sahuaro High School.
Seniors there took on issues affecting the student body and came up with creative ways to solve them.
Throughout the semester, students studied issues like school safety and breaks in between classes. They then connected those issues to public policy, and came up with ways to fix it for themselves.
Jordan Waldbillig is a senior at Sahuaro High School. He said he loves his school, but noticed parts of it were in need of a facelift. So, he drafted up a plan and got to work.
“I'm here every single day and I look around and I see things that I'm not particularly proud of. The project has consisted of repainting the sundial, painting the directional arrows in the parking lot, and then also painting a big S-H-S on the ground just for everybody to be able to look at,” added Waldbillig.
He said beautifying a school can go a really long way.
“It renews the sense of pride for me, it renews that for other kids and just makes me more proud of my school,” Waldbillig stated.
School pride is something senior Lillian Mclean can also relate to, but said before school pride comes school safety.
“We actually went through and counted in just the main buildings, 40 locks that are older, and because they are older they have problems locking and unlocking, so they need to be replaced,” Mclean told KGUN9.
This is a problem she assures she's working to help fix. Mclean is working to find sponsors for new locks. The old ones, she said, can be a fire hazard or a safety issue during an emergency.
“If someone is on campus that should not be on campus, we can't lock the doors to keep them out,” she added.
Mclean even went on to say this sometimes keeps students from getting to class on time.
Something Joaquin Cota knows all too well. He told KGUN9, the lack of water bottle filling stations is also adding to more tardies.
“We only have one right now in the front office, and it's kind of inconvenient for students in between passing periods,” said Cota.
Cota also assured this will be good for the environment.
“It definitely helps decrease the use of water bottles,” he added.
Some students have already finished their projects. Others are still working on it.
Everyone hopes to finish their project to improve the school by the end of the year.