Van Nuys Senior High School

Be a good neighbor!

On Jan. 15, students gathered in the auditorium during second and third periods to witness what ideals and values the students of Van Nuys High School stood and fought for. Known as the “Good Neighbors Assembly,” the event showcased the work done by two humanitarian clubs on campus, The Water Project and Project Cookstoves, both of which are sponsored by Good Neighbors, an international non-profit organization.

The assembly started off with an introduction by Kohyun Choi, the Campaign Coordinator of Good Neighbors, and a presentation by two officers of Water Project, followed in the second half by two officers of Project Cookstoves. Co-Presidents of The Water Project, Jenna Yoo and Julie Jung, spoke about the club’s purpose and explained why the club raises money to build wells in Africa, specifically Chad, Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia.

“I enjoy raising awareness for the causes most important to me – education and humanitarianism – and the club has shaped me as a more conscious, global citizen,” said Yoo.

After, Co-Presidents of Project Cookstoves, Joseph and Nick Lee, elaborated on the priorities of building cookstoves for families in Guatemala. Joseph was no stranger to the struggles that children and mothers faced because of the lack of adequate equipment in their lives. Joseph traveled to Guatemala for a week alongside nine other students the summer after his sophomore year and was inspired to establish such a club at his school.

“Project Cookstoves offers the students at our school the opportunity to affect the lives of families living thousands of miles away. There is so much out there that goes unnoticed” Joseph said.

Concluding the event, The Water Project and Project Cookstoves encouraged their fellow peers to join their causes by attending their meetings on Mondays in Room 220 and in the lecture hall, respectively. Joseph summarized it with one simple statement.

“There are students everywhere who want to make a difference in the world,” he said.

The message and purpose of the Good Neighbors Assembly could not be clearer.

–Keshan Huang