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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

The Feelin' Good Hygiene Closet

Mar 25, 2020 05:39PM ● By Rachel Trigueiro

Community Minded

April 2020
By Rachel Trigueiro
Photo courtesy of Future Business Leaders of America

In December 1959, Future Business Leaders of America was established at Redwood High School with 25 students. FBLA, a student-run organization, inspires and prepares students to become community-minded leaders in a global society through participation in community service, competitions, leadership conferences and more.

With a huge heart for community, longstanding adviser Doris Lowe grew the club with passion, earning many victories along the way and proving the Redwood High School chapter to be a powerhouse.

In January 2008, Lowe passed the torch to current chapter adviser Jacob Avila, who has continued to lead the team of students to triumphs. According to co-adviser Shannon Moore, “Jacob Avila is like the FBLA god. He is amazing.” Redwood has won 35 out of 38 section competitions from Modesto to Bakersfield. “If you think of our wins like sports, we’ve won Valley champs 35 out of 38 times,” Moore says with a smile. Avila continues to grow the powerful Redwood High School reputation and club size, which is now anywhere from 100 to 150 competitors.

A central pillar in the club is community service. Each year, FBLA student officers are in charge of creating their own project for the Doris Lowe Community Service Project to present at the state level. The officers select a project, document the process and submit the report to judges.

Previous years’ projects include book drives, healthy living campaigns and cancer awareness, which were often a one and done. “This year we wanted to create something that will last, something that future leadership teams will continue overseeing. Our hope is that it will grow and other schools will want to do the same thing on their campus,” says student officer Maddie Adams, a junior.

Adams and co-officer junior Alisha Shahroz noticed an alarming need at Redwood. “A lot of students don’t have the finances to get basic hygiene products – soap, toothbrushes, shampoo.” An estimated 4 percent of Redwood High students are homeless and spend their nights couch surfing.

With a growing compassion toward their fellow students, the team created The Feelin’ Fresh Hygiene Closet. “We wanted to create a resource for students to come to school feeling their best, which everyone deserves,” Adams says.  While still in need of donations, the new closet located in the nurse’s office is stocked with shampoo, body wash, feminine hygiene products, deodorant and soaps. Students can access the closet anonymously with no questions asked.

“This is the first time we’ve had a project focused inward towards the school,” Moore says. “To see something like this on our campus inspires all the students so much. Being in high school is hard enough these days with all the things that pull kids away. If we can help them feel better before even getting to class, we’ve made a huge accomplishment.”

Shahroz says it’s been a great experience for her. “It’s really shown me you don’t need to be a well-known or established person to do something in the community and make a difference.”

Adams has appreciated the opportunity to be a part of seeing a problem, finding a solution and putting it into action. “It’s been really cool to see how generous people have been and how many people have come together with a vision.”

FBLA’s aim is to empower young people to reach their full potential and be contributing members of society. With a lot of pride, Moore says, “watching what these selfless girls have done gives me a lot of hope for the world and this generation.”

Redwood High School FBLA

To donate, contact Shannon Moore:

(559) 709-2911 • smoore@vusd.org