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Students Aim to Build Community

Members of the Builder's Club at Hans Christensen Middle School in Menifee want to make a difference in the community.  Club adviser and technology teacher Jim Gammill said the club is an international service organization that develops leadership skills in middle school students interested in helping their school and community.

The club's co-president, 14-year-old Alesia Robinson, said it is important to her and her fellow members to get out in the community and see the difference they are making.  "It was great volunteering for the Race for the Cure," Alesia said. "We had the opportunity to really experience what it's like to help others hands-on, and not just talk about it. Being interactive like that really touched my heart."

Alesia's fellow club president Ashlyn Bennett, also 14, said she believes the club will help her future career goals.  "It's nice to be a part of something that's actually a productive use of time," Ashlyn said. "I know that being a part of this club has helped me to develop strong leadership and public speaking skills that will help me when I join the Coast Guard someday."

Gammill said he is proud of what the students are accomplishing, and is pleased they are defying perceptions of how most middle schooler's spend their time.

"I'm glad that my students are not some negative stereotype of a self-centered middle schooler that is not invested in being an active member of their community," he said. "They are very interested in helping others and they do what's necessary to be the change they wish to see."

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Photo and story credit: Tiffany Austin-Suniga/Special to The Press-Enterprise