The Commander

  • Welcome back Centurions! Come back soon for updates on everything UC High!

  • Do you have anything to complain about? Submit a "Letter to the Editor"

   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 (

   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.

Elaina Martin, Opinions Editor

Jun 08, 2018
Community College is a Respectable Education Option (Story)
Mar 23, 2018
Counterpoint: Is Gun Control the Answer to the Violence Question? (Story)
Feb 23, 2018
Can Any Country be Called a Sh*thole Country? Point (Media)
Feb 23, 2018
How To Go Zero-Waste in a Wasteful World (Story)
Jan 26, 2018
Would UC High Students Benefit From a Later Start Time?: Counterpoint (Story)
Dec 15, 2017
It’s a Small World After All: Winter Traditions Across the Globe (Story)
Dec 15, 2017
People Should not Have to Adjust Their Holiday Greetings (Media)
Dec 15, 2017
Animal Testing Cruel and Unnecessary (Media)
Oct 30, 2017
UC Students in Casas de Luz Club Build Homes in Tijuana (Story)
The news site of University City High School