By: Georgina Fakoukaki
The senior year has almost come to an end yet some feel the vibe of something impactful has been missing from the senior class. The popularly held opinion is that as d.tech keeps expanding and becoming more well-known, the need to connect with the outer community has become more critical. Senior Fiona Cheung embodied this, when she said: “It’s not just about ourselves. There are other people out there that are in need.” Senior student Julia Wang added, “We wanted to make sure that the founding class would be able to do something for the community that has given so much to us.” On that note, what will d.tech do to make an impact not only in the senior class, but also in the outer community?
The d.tech Senior Committee, which consists of a variety of student and parent representatives including Wang and parent Jamie Dal Porto, is happy to introduce the first ever Senior Service Day at d.tech. Students will be asked to either plan a shoe/clothing drive, lead an activity, take photos/videos of the experience, or do general volunteering work. It will take place on Wednesday, June 6th at different locations around the bay.
The three options provided are: “My New Red Shoes” in Redwood City, an organization that helps homeless and low-income children by providing them with new shoes and the opportunity to shop for new school clothing, “Samaritan House” in San Mateo, an organization that assists San Mateo County neighbors in need with food, access to shelter, healthcare, and a broad range of supportive services, and “Discovery Days”, a partnership with the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District in order to enrich d.tech’s relationship with the outer community.
Dal Porto said that “the service day will be evaluated based on the value d.tech seniors provided to these organizations and schools.” She said she is hoping that the day becomes a successful day and one that can potentially get carried as a tradition for d.tech seniors.
In order to give each student their desired service type and location, all seniors had to fill out a form with their top choice. If submitted late, they would be randomly placed in a location. Jariwala commented, “I picked photography as it’s something I really enjoy doing”. She then added, “The photos I’ll take will be put on the school’s website.”
All seniors are required to participate. However, Jariwala noted that “They won’t force you if you chose not to participate.” Senior Jose Obregon admitted that “Seniors might not want to participate because some of them might think ‘why do I need to do this?’ or that it will be ‘boring’ for others.”
But why a service day? Jariwala noted that “As the first [graduating] class, we want to have a lasting impact on the community as well as a good reputation as a school.” She believes that “this is a great opportunity for seniors to connect with the outer community – besides the connections and help we’ve been receiving from Oracle – and really push themselves out of their comfort zone.” What Cheung thinks is that “the school is trying to get the seniors involved in their community, in order to create memorable experiences, experiences that will benefit both the seniors and the community.”
When asked what they think they will gain out of this experience, Cheung expressed how service days can really make you “gain more empathy for the ones around you and help you see things from a different perspective.” Jariwala said she thought that that “This service day is a great opportunity for seniors to give back and help the ones in need by fulfilling d.tech’s mission of making the world a better place.”