Latinos In Action

Teens making an effort to improve the community

On November 6, the City CAMS committee hosted a cleanup of the City Office Building grounds. Volunteers were asked to bring their pruning shears, brooms, rakes and gloves to get the landscape ready for the winter. It was a perfectly crisp fall morning; the chill of the night was just being overcome by the sun making it warm enough to keep the frost from your fingers and toes.

 There were a small handful of volunteers at first, in addition to the City Manager, Matt Brower, and City Councilwoman Rachel Kaehler. We began pulling out the plants that we hoped were annuals and trimming back the assumed perennials. All were consistent in their efforts but there weren’t too many of us and I was thinking it would take a good portion of the day to accomplish the task! Enter the Latinos In Action class from Timpanogos Middle School to save the day – or at least the service project.

I had my head down over the Black-Eyed Susans when they arrived without a leader, about 10 of them, and went straight to work piling the leaves, pulling annuals, and scooping up armfuls of trimmed waste into bags. They easily cut an hour or two from the time it would have taken the rest of us to accomplish the task if they hadn’t been there. They had positive and respectful attitudes, and following the project, while they waited for their lunch, I made a point to go talk to them for a few minutes.

I told them how impressed I was that they would show up on a Saturday morning for something like this, to which one young man responded that he had nothing better to do and woke up early so he figured he may as well come. Not entirely the answer of a philanthropist, but I know many young teens who would gladly choose the option to do nothing. They shared that they are part of a for-credit class that meets every other day, under the instruction of Mr. Scott Bardin. The idea of the class is to find opportunities to serve the community. The students are required to complete 10 hours each quarter for their grade and this was just one way they could fulfill some of those hours. Other ways they have found include volunteering at the school by taking out garbage, facilitating Parent-Teacher Conference nights, and some light cleaning.

It was time for me to get home so I told the students thank you again and said goodbye to the other volunteers. It was a wonderful opportunity to serve; the grounds are ready for the snow; and I was able to learn about an incredible group of kids right here in our community.

Thank you to all who came and for the CAMS committee for facilitating the event in the continued effort to keep the Heber Valley a desirable place to live, work, and visit.