Pictured: Iris Arismendez did a little touch-up work on the traffic light at the corner of Main and Wright Streets. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR

Volunteers touch-up traffic poles downtown

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Alice High School student Alyssa Ordonez used even strokes while painting the green trash receptacle at the corner of Main and Wight streets.

As a member of the Coastal Bend College-Alice TRiO-Educational Talent Search Program, Alyssa believes all students should participate in some form of community service while in school.

"No one has bothered to do this in I don't know how long," Alyssa said.

"We're helping to beautify Alice. All students should participate in community service at least once. Afterward, you feel a sense of accomplishment. These students out here are role models."

There are nearly 120 students involved in the TRiO program from AHS, which prepares students for college with educational services and college preparation.

More than 600 students participate in the Coastal Bend College program from eight high schools in the immediate area.

CBC TRiO Supervisor DeeDee Arismendez said Monday morning's effort to paint the trash cans and traffic lights along downtown was just a continuation of work the group had participated in as part of Operation Brightside.

She said it is important for students preparing for college to have community service hours.

"When it comes to their college applications, they'll be able to use this as an example of two hours worth or documented community service, which is something colleges look for in a well-rounded student," Arismendez said.

A majority of the students who participate in the TRiO program have performed community service projects in the past, Arismendez said.

Along with their work on Monday, the students also traveled to a museum as part of their education on the history of the area, and enjoyed a Hooks game in Corpus Christi.

Sophomores J.D. Lopez and Hollee Ordonez said they were happy to spend time during their summer giving back to the community in this way.

"I feel like in a small way I'm helping," Hollee Ordonez said. "I always feel better when I help others and help clean up the community."

J.D. made it a point to remind people that community service can be something small, and that it doesn't take all day.

"The extra hour or two you spend sleeping, is time you could have been out here helping your community," he said.