Cameron Mansanarez, a senior at Monte Vista High School, played a leading role in the creation of a statewide student council community service project dedicated to helping disadvantaged children, called “Caring for Colorado’s Children.”
As a state student council representative in his junior year, “I wanted to begin a project in Colorado that could be carried out in the future, would make an impact on a large number of people, and would have high participation,” he explained.
He began working with the state student council president to involve schools across the state in a broad campaign to collect money, food, and other items for needy children, and to provide volunteer labor for projects benefiting children.
In the end, the project yielded more than $70,000, 368,000 pounds of food, thousands of volunteer hours, and many other contributions. As part of the effort, Cameron also recruited students at his school to collect children’s books and then deliver and read them to local elementary school students.
Cameron, who is now Colorado’s state student council president, plans to make “Caring for Colorado’s Children” a project that can be passed down to future state presidents, with greater results each year.
The project also received national attention at the 2005 National Association of Student Councils Conference, and has inspired similar projects in several other states. “More than anything, the feeling that I was in some way a help to a child in the state or my community is the most rewarding thing from this project,” said Cameron.