By Brandon Aninipot
This past Sunday, a few of MACK’s State Championship football players, cheerleaders, and other students from the OUSD Alternatives in Action Program at MACK could be seen washing cars in the school parking lot to raise money for a trip to South Africa.
For most students, going on this trip will be their first time on a plane—not to mention out of the country.
“People think that investing in travel is a luxury, but for our youth it is a necessity,” said Kharyshi Wiginton, Community Programs Manager for Alternatives in Action at McClymonds.
“McClymonds has over a 90 percent rate of students with free or reduced lunch. These youth experience high rates of trauma, violence and poverty. Giving them the opportunity to travel will help broaden their perspective of what is possible to achieve, transform their reality, and change the trajectory of their lives,” said Wiginton,
The purpose for this trip, set for March 28, is a cultural exchange between the students of McClymonds and the youth of South Africa. This trip will also help students develop a worldview outside of Oakland.
Many will be placed outside of their comfort zone by being in a completely new environment. It could also create a better sense of self that comes with the pride of knowing where one comes from.
Sunday was one of the first days the sun made an appearance after the storm of the previous week and the energy was high in West Oakland.
As music was playing, meat was on the grill and students worked collectively towards their dream to reach South Africa, word spread around the community and the support soon followed.
Soon there was a crowded parking lot of cars waiting for their turn to be washed. People who didn’t need their car washed stopped by to donate, eager to support the legacy of McClymonds High School.
For those interested in donating to the cause, there will be a paint night on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., along with another carwash Wednesday, March 1 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.