Cal High senior project urges SIDS awareness

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first_imgWHITTIER – Amber Escareno has turned her senior year at California High School into a tribute to her baby brother. Although Amber was only 2 when her brother died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, his death changed the Escareno family forever. Amber is using her senior project to help other families affected by SIDS. The 17-year-old is organizing a dinner and silent auction later this month to benefit the SIDS Foundation, which educates people about SIDS, provides support to families and raises money to find a cure. Her goal is to raise $10,000. “I know a lot of people choose to do their senior projects just because they want to pass,” she said. “But I saw this as an opportunity to do something better for my community. I have 300 tickets at $35 apiece and I would love to sell out the event. “But I’d be happy with selling at least 200,” she added. Completing a senior project is a graduation requirement in the Whittier Union High School District, and it from students. Students must identify and research a topic, write a lengthy paper about it, work with a mentor to conduct at least 15 hours of field work, and give an oral presentation at the end of the year before a panel of judges. Typically, students at schools across the nation that require senior projects put in about 43.5 hours completing them, said Cal High senior project coordinator Pat Hodges. Amber will have logged about 200 hours on her project by the time her SIDS fundraiser is completed. “Amber is certainly going above and beyond what’s required,” Hodges said. “For a student to put in that amount of time and effort – well, this is what a senior project is supposed to be all about. “It will give her a chance to feel like she’s made a contribution to society and done something to help people overcome the grief that can happen because of SIDS,” Hodges added. “It’s an incredible feat, and it’s just marvelous.” Since her brother’s death, Amber’s family has been very involved with the SIDS Foundation, she said. Her parents sought counseling through the foundation, where they also made lifelong friends and helped raise about $5,000 for the organization a few years ago through a walkathon fundraiser. Amber is contacting local businesses, organizations and Cal High parents, asking them to buy tickets and donate items for the silent auction. But she also is appealing to large corporations, asking them to help with the cost of holding the event at Maggie’s Pub, which gave her a discount on renting its facilities. “I’ve had a lot of support from my mentor, Karena Lee, and my mom,” Amber said. “Without them, I couldn’t have done this much.” Amber calls her project a labor of love. “I want to help other people by letting them hear my story and know my cause.” entails a nine-month effort [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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