by Alex Folchi and Ashley Cabrera
The holiday season is here and it’s bringing out the spirit of giving among the Sierra Valley communities. Many community members are generous in giving a helping hand to those in need.
Senior Antonio Lizarde has designed and been in charge of a food drive around Loyalton and the surrounding communities. Lizarde is a member of Boy Scouts, and in order to become an Eagle Scout, he must complete a community service project (very similar to LHS seniors’ senior projects) to help benefit his community. He thought of this idea of planning a food drive and has taken control with many other members and friends helping him along the way.
Lizarde wanted to help the Loyalton area during this holiday season, so he set up drop-off points around the area for people to leave any canned food that they wanted to donate. These places include Leonard’s, most of the churches around the town and Janet McHenry’s classroom.
Once the community donates the food at these places, he will go around and collect all the canned food. Once the food is gathered, Lizarde will take the food to the Loyalton Food Bank, from which it will be distributed around Loyalton and the surrounding area to those in need.
Zoe Studer is also getting involved in this year’s holiday spirit by completing her own community service project. Along with her brother, Studer is collecting aluminum cans and glass bottles around the Calpine area, which they will recycle and then donate the money received to High Sierra Animal Rescue, the animal shelter in Portola.
Studer has set up a place at the Calpine Post Office for people to drop off bottles, and she has also been going around to houses near hers to inform them about her project and ask for any bottles or cans that they may have and want to donate. So far Studer had collected about $500 and will continue the project for about two more weeks. After these two weeks she will take all the money to the animal shelter in time for Christmas.
The Sierra Valley 4-H Club also does their part in helping out the community by holding its annual coat drive. This is the fourth year the club is providing coats for the wintertime. The club is collecting coats for all ages that are in good condition. Coats can be dropped off at the Loyalton Elementary School in Erin Folchi’s classroom or at Wiggins Trading Post in Chilcoot. The coats are available at the Human Resource Center in Loyalton next to Ronda’s Lil’ Frosty, where they can be taken by those in need.
The 4-H club also held a food drive in which they collected canned food at their recent club meeting. The food collected aims to help the Sierra Valley community.
The Echo 4-H club, along with the Sierra Valley 4-H club, participate with the Loyalton Angel Tree. This is a local program committed to providing presents to children chosen among the community. A Christmas tree is located in the Loyalton post office with ornaments that contain information about children and what items they need for the winter months. The public is encouraged to stop by and choose a child for whom to buy a gift.
Financial aid process will be revealed
By Angelina Folchi
Financial Aid Night will leave many students and their parents feeling optimistic about being able to afford college. The event is on Monday, Dec. 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. in room 100.
Throughout the evening, LHS Academic Advisor Janet McHenry will address many different topics. First of all, there are many types of financial aid available, including federal, state, and university grants; loans; work study; and national and local scholarships.
There are differences between the various loans available for college, and students need to be aware of them. McHenry will also be informing students on how to apply for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Cal Grant application, and college financial aid applications. She will also let attendees know how they can get their own PIN number for the online FAFSA application.
If students are planning on going to any type of post-secondary school, they should attend Financial Aid Night, along with their parents. The financial aid application process is the same for four-year universities, community colleges and technical schools. There will also be many important handouts for students and their parents that will give valuable information.
There are two types of financial aid: need based and achievement based. Parents [and students] should never try to second guess the system and figure they won’t qualify, McHenry said. Students need to be very competitive when they graduate from high school because a college degree can give them the edge in this tight economy.
The two most important legal papers for receiving financial aid are the FAFSA and the Cal Grant form. More information on how to complete these applications will be provided at Financial Aid Night.