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UC Students in Casas de Luz Club Build Homes in Tijuana

Sophomore+Andrew+Dorvillier%2C+Senior+Christina+Doering%2C+Senior+Isabella+Nunez%2C+Senior+Katrina+Berge%2C+Senior+Emily+Heinz%2C+Senior+Madeline+Masser-Frye%2C+Sophomore+Rowan+Hicks%2C+Sophomore+Rose+Grimm%2C+Sophomore+Sidney+Gillum%2C+Sophomore+Summer+Camporesi%2C+Senior+Ava+Dorvillier%2C+Senior+Hope+Adams%2C+Senior+Faith+Adams%2C+Senior+Janelle+Hicks%2C+Senior+Emily+Nowell%2C+Sophomore+Eloi+Sanchez+Van+Moer%2C+Sophomore+Mark+Nguyen%2C+Sophomore+Matia+Isakovic%2C+and+Sophomore+Richard+Masser-Frye+%28top+to+bottom%2C+left+to+right%29+pose+in+front+of+a+house+they+helped+build+in+Tijuana%2C+Mexico.
Sophomore Andrew Dorvillier, Senior Christina Doering, Senior Isabella Nunez, Senior Katrina Berge, Senior Emily Heinz, Senior Madeline Masser-Frye, Sophomore Rowan Hicks, Sophomore Rose Grimm, Sophomore Sidney Gillum, Sophomore Summer Camporesi, Senior Ava Dorvillier, Senior Hope Adams, Senior Faith Adams, Senior Janelle Hicks, Senior Emily Nowell, Sophomore Eloi Sanchez Van Moer, Sophomore Mark Nguyen, Sophomore Matia Isakovic, and Sophomore Richard Masser-Frye (top to bottom, left to right) pose in front of a house they helped build in Tijuana, Mexico.

Sophomore Andrew Dorvillier, Senior Christina Doering, Senior Isabella Nunez, Senior Katrina Berge, Senior Emily Heinz, Senior Madeline Masser-Frye, Sophomore Rowan Hicks, Sophomore Rose Grimm, Sophomore Sidney Gillum, Sophomore Summer Camporesi, Senior Ava Dorvillier, Senior Hope Adams, Senior Faith Adams, Senior Janelle Hicks, Senior Emily Nowell, Sophomore Eloi Sanchez Van Moer, Sophomore Mark Nguyen, Sophomore Matia Isakovic, and Sophomore Richard Masser-Frye (top to bottom, left to right) pose in front of a house they helped build in Tijuana, Mexico.

Janelle Hicks

Janelle Hicks

Sophomore Andrew Dorvillier, Senior Christina Doering, Senior Isabella Nunez, Senior Katrina Berge, Senior Emily Heinz, Senior Madeline Masser-Frye, Sophomore Rowan Hicks, Sophomore Rose Grimm, Sophomore Sidney Gillum, Sophomore Summer Camporesi, Senior Ava Dorvillier, Senior Hope Adams, Senior Faith Adams, Senior Janelle Hicks, Senior Emily Nowell, Sophomore Eloi Sanchez Van Moer, Sophomore Mark Nguyen, Sophomore Matia Isakovic, and Sophomore Richard Masser-Frye (top to bottom, left to right) pose in front of a house they helped build in Tijuana, Mexico.

Elaina Martin, Opinions Editor

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   Every other Thursday, UC High’s Casas de Luz Club meets in Bio-Med Teacher Leslie Chadwick’s room in order to get students involved with projects, such as the Tijuana home build.

   According to the Casas de Luz website, Casas de Luz is an organization, founded in 2005,  whose goal is to help build sustainable communities in Tijuana (casasdeluz.org).

   According to UC High’s Casas de Luz Club Founder Senior Madeleine Masser-Frye, the club goes by the same name as the organization and was founded last year by Masser-Frye.

   “The purpose of the club is to work with [Casas de Luz] to raise money to build houses for and support Tijuana families in need,” explained Masser-Frye.

     Casas de Luz Club’s biggest event last year was their home build in Tijuana. Last March, the Casas de Luz Club had 19 students and eight adults go to Tijuana to build a house for needy families there, added Masser-Frye.

   The entire experience is very inspirational. Club President Senior Janelle Hicks said, “The most inspiring story is one shared among many of the club members. Last year’s home build really opened the eyes of many students to what the world is like outside of our country. [Attendees] were able to interact with people that were less fortunate than they were and it was a hugely humbling experience to all of us that took part in the build.”

   Masser-Frye explained, “A couple of years ago I was on a build, talking to this four-year-old girl who we were building for. She said, in Spanish, she was happy to have a bed to sleep in. Where had she been sleeping before? A piece of cardboard in the dirt.” Masser-Frye said she and all of the students on the builds come away with a rewarding experience.

    “I love being able to share the experience with other teens; it really is something invaluable,” said Masser-Frye.

   “It is the experience of helping others and accomplishing something so impactful that inspires the students of the club,” added Hicks.

   Masser-Frye explained, “When we crossed back over the border [on March 5], we had left behind a move-in ready house. We spent the whole day working on Saturday, and then finished up Sunday afternoon. What’s really neat about the experience is how immersed students are in every part of it. We build right alongside neighbors and Mexican master carpenters and kids. Everybody gets to do every part of the building — hammering on the roof, caulking, buzzsaw cutting, you name it.”

     “We’re going into this school year with the lofty goal of doing two home builds. It would mean we would need 9000 dollars, and no Casas Club has accomplished that before,” said Masser-Frye. “Some other schools also have Casas de Luz Clubs, such as Torrey Pines High, Westview High, Canyon Crest Academy, and San Dieguito Academy,” she continued.

   In order to do home builds, however, the club has to fundraise. According to Hicks, their most hands-on fundraiser last year was a “Make Your Own Tie-Dye T-Shirts” booth. Masser-Frye added that this fundraiser raised a couple hundred dollars.

   Masser-Frye explained how the club also uses Snap Raise, which allows small groups to crowdfund. With this program, the club was able to raise the money they needed to do a build within a month.

   “This year, we hope to focus more on hands-on fundraisers.  We’re in the process of planning events such as bake sales and parents’-night-outs. We will also take advantage of the Centurion Foundation’s crowdfunding program in place of Snap,” said Masser-Frye.

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UC Students in Casas de Luz Club Build Homes in Tijuana