Thursday, June 14, 2007
The first annual M.E.CH.A. recycling program last week turned Logan's cast-off bottles and cans into more than $800 in scholarschips for club members.
The recycling program began in late September. Led by Gabriela Esquivez, James Logan Teacher and M.E.CH.A advisor, students belonging to the club also known as Mechistas, noticed that students on campus would throw items away rather than recycle them. This eventually sparked the idea of starting the program, she told The Courier.
Esquivez then sent out an e‑mail to all Logan staff about the program and about the collection periods. A box was sent to teachers wishing to participate, which, when filled, would later be picked up by Mechistas. The cans and bottles collected were sent to the Tri‑CED Recycling Center in return for cash.
"This is a good way of not doing [other kinds of] fundraising and a good way to help the environment, which is one thing us Mechistas worry about," Esquivez said.
The recycling paid off and earned the program approximately a thousand dollars in proceeds throughout the year. Eight hundred dollars gwent to scholarships awarded through M.E.CH.A and the rest goes to pay other expenses.
In an email this week to the Logan staff, Esquivez thanked "all of the teachers and staff who have helped us with our recycling project this year. We were able to give out $800 in scholarships to our Seniors this past Wednesday from the collective efforts of the M.E.Ch.A students, Ms. [Gloria] Nuñez and my self in recycling alone. I hope to continue this project next year again, as it has helped keep our garbages a bit more empty and also help the environment."
"I think its worked out very well, we can do this on a bigger scale if we had more people willing to participate." Esquivez told The Courier.
M.E.C.H.A awarded the scholarships at the the 9th annual Raza Graduation, held last Wednesday at 6:00 pm in the Little Theatre.
According to organizers, Raza Graduation is an intimate celebration that is memorable to Latinos and Latinas. The students submit an application and an essay, movie, poem, or anything creative to get the scholarship. Two scholarships of $400 were awarded, one to male and one to female out of about 65 students.
Esquivez said the separate celebration for Raza students is “important because we need to show people that, with all those stereotypes towards Latino‘s, we're just as good as anyone else and this is a chance for students to prove it.”
Along with the scholarship presentations, attendees were treated to motivational speakers, folklorico dancing, Aztec dancers, and an open mic which the students used. The
graduation was free and open to friends and family of students.
MEChA, short for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/Chicano de Aztlán, is a Chicano organization that seeks to promote Chicano unity and empowerment through education and political action. The acronym of the organization's name is the Spanish word mecha, which means "fuse." The motto of MEChA is La Unión Hace La Fuerza ("Unity Creates Strength").