Photo by Alex Justine

In the corridor, freshman Caroline Scott smiles. She is a part of the Amigos club, which celebrates and shares Spanish-speaking cultures.

Freshman Gives Back To Hispanic Communities

Student shares Hispanic culture through serving, teaching others

On the surface, freshman Caroline Scott is like any other high school student that takes Spanish, fulfilling a requirement, so she can graduate.

However, she’s also gone beyond her requirement and explored the Spanish language in her extracurricular pursuits.

Born and raised in Dallas, Scott started her schooling at the Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD) before enrolling at Bradfield Elementary School in HPISD.

“Bradfield was so different from ESD because it was a little more relaxed,” Scott said. “We got to wear whatever we want. At first, it was hard to make friends because I was pretty shy, but I met friends here and bonded with them.”

In seventh grade, Scott had her first exposure to Spanish culture and language. She embarked on her journey, finding a new perspective.When Scott started high school, she continued her exploration of the subject, becoming the freshman representative for the Amigos club.

The Amigos club gives students a hands-on opportunity to volunteer to help the surrounding Spanish-speaking community and to explore hispanic cultures, welcoming all students regardless of which LOTE class they take at school.

Scott’s roles consist of brainstorming and planning activities for club meetings and keeping track of upcoming events.

One activity Scott participated in was based on the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos. They made papel picado, which is a form of paper art with cutout designs used to decorate ofrendas, or altars. 

“We made little posters explaining what an ofrenda was, and we donated it to a school that was trying to learn more about [Mexican] culture,” Scott said.

As part of the club, she got to participate in a local food drive the club held at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. People in need of food or other essential items, many being Spanish speakers, would come up in their cars, and the volunteers would provide them with the supplies.

“The whole time it felt so rewarding to help out the families in need,” Scott said. “It’s giving back and trying to make them feel valued and include them in your good energy.”

Spanish has also come in handy for Scott outside of the club.

“I haven’t been taking [Spanish] for very long, but it has made me smart and able to pick up on things I wouldn’t have known,” Scott said. “Like my soccer coach speaks Spanish, so sometimes, he will say words in Spanish, and my whole soccer team is like ‘what,’  and, I am like ‘I know what it means.’”

Scott learned through her experience with Spanish that inclusivity can go a long way, and she has started to apply it to other aspects of her life. She surrounds herself with positive influences and mentors who make her want to be a more inclusive person. Freshman Olivia Sterrett is one of Scott’s friends who inspires her to be a better person.

“Anytime I don’t have plans on a Friday, or sometimes I was planning to do something and it fell through, she is always like ‘Come hang out with us,’” Scott said. “She is the most inclusive person I know. She has inspired me to be more inclusive and happier and overall a nicer person.”

Now, she tries to practice inclusion by paying attention to everyone around her.

“Inclusivity means to me helping out someone who needs the help, to reach out and go out of their comfort zone and include people who you may not know,” Scott said. “You don’t have to know them really well. Just [be] a friend to anyone.” 

Her aim is to share her joy with others.

“Positive energy is contagious,” Scott said with a slight smile on her face. “Positive energy makes everyone happy. Including can go a very long way.”

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