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Huntington Beach Union High School District

Marina High School Students Complete Campus Beautification Project

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Marina High School (MHS) recently received a fresh makeover through a beautification project from one of their on-campus clubs, Helping Hands. On one Saturday in early March, club members came together with other enthusiastic volunteers to bring their beautification project to life on campus.

Helping Hands brought fresh flowers, plants, and mulch to liven up areas around the administration building, as well as dried-up planter areas throughout Marina’s parking lot. The Mulch was donated for the club's project, and the flowers were purchased by Sheri Cobble, Equipment Operator at the district. The club’s mission is to create change in the community by providing community service opportunities based on helping the environment and assisting lower-income families and individuals. They aim to promote compassion and care for the world that we live in by building relationships with each other and serving the community.

“Last year, I started to envision the possibility of improving Marina’s curb appeal by planting additional flowers and trees. As the event coordinator for the Helping Hands Club,” explained MHS student Pauline Blumenkrantz, “I was able to work closely with Club president, Carissa Loverme, and Club teacher-advisor, Mrs. Yoshiyama, to bring the idea to Marina’s principal, Dr. Smith, who enthusiastically kick-started the Marina beautification project. The many volunteers who participated in the event were extremely determined and hard-working. With all of us coming together, the area surrounding the administration building was covered in flowers by noon! It was amazing for all of us to implement a vision into reality, and we hope to continue our efforts to beautify Marina in the near future.”

Many students and adults came to volunteer with the Helping Hands Club to assist with their beautification vision. MHS Principal, Dr. Morgan Smith, joined the club by shoveling mulch out of a giant dumpster. Assistant Principal, Mia White, also participated by pushing wheelbarrows full of mulch to and from the dumpster to the designated areas. Marina’s community resource coordinator, Christa Velek, lent a helping hand by clearing weeds alongside a parent volunteer.

Carissa Loverme, the Helping Hands club president stated, “Helping Hands started out as a small service club, aiming to make an impact on the environment and our local community. We did this through volunteering with organizations and groups such as the Huntington Beach Tree Society and HBHS’s gardening club. However, our club’s purpose and goals have expanded with the initiative and passion of Pauline. Through her efforts and the dedication of our club’s board, we have been able to make a significant impact on Marina, leaving a legacy that will hopefully continue for many years to come. I’m glad that we could contribute to such a worthy cause as this because I believe that plants and greenery are essential to our lives. I hope the success of this project can inspire others to voice their opinions and enact change within their communities, as change can better our world.” 

The Helping Hands club advisor and MHS English Teacher, Carol Yoshiyama, felt a sense of community throughout the event, “It’s times like these that remind me there truly is no other career that is more rewarding. Witnessing outstanding students like the ones who came because they genuinely care enough about their school to want to give back any way they can is truly heartwarming and priceless.”

The Huntington Beach Union High School District is thrilled to house such incredible students, volunteers, and administrators who come together for great causes. There is no doubt that Marina’s Helping Hands Club will continue to do incredible environmental and community work.

MHS students outside of admin building

Student gardening