Student Superheroes Giving Back

When our Program 18 student Dreamer superheroes from Watts were in third grade, some of the Dreamers had a teacher named Mrs. Jones. During this time, IHADLA partnered with Girls on the Run (GOTR), which had served as a magnificent confidence builder for our female Dreamers and continues to do so to this day! Mrs. Jones was kind enough to volunteer with the Dreamers who participated in GOTR throughout the first 2 years during this after-school program. Not only did Mrs. Jones help IHADLA, but she also acted as an unwavering support system and demonstrated how positive giving back to the community is.

IHADLA Watts Student Superheroes Giving Back for Mrs. Jones

In one of the GOTR races, the Dreamers met Mrs. Jones’ twins, Rachel and Seth, who at the time were very young. This past December, IHADLA found out that her son, Seth (7 years old), was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia at age 1. After seven years of waiting, Mrs. Jones and her family finally found a matching bone marrow donor for Seth! His surgery was set to be in mid-December, and Seth, being a big superhero fan, asked that 99 St. Elementary students wear superhero shirts and costumes in his honor for surgery day.

Our Dreamers were saddened by the news that their friend Seth would be going into surgery. As a team, they decided to make a superhero banner for Seth to make him feel better and support him through his surgery. The Dreamers each selected their favorite superhero to put on the banner, followed by a special short message for Seth. Program coordinator Alberto took a short video clip and Lupe, our other Watts Program 18 coordinator, then sent it to Mrs. Jones so Seth could see what the Dreamers had done. When the Dreamers came back from their winter break, Lupe found a “thank you” card in her school mailbox from Seth and his family. The Jones family was very grateful for what our Dreamers did for Seth and let the Dreamers know about the thoughtful and heartwarming impact they had on him!

IHADLA Watts student superheroes sign giving back
Our 6th grade Dreamers from 99th Elementary School with their superhero sign to support Seth!
IHADLA Watts student superheroes thank you card
The lovely “thank you” letter that Ms. Lupe found in her school mailbox from the Jones family!

Last week we found out that Seth was finally back home after six weeks of being in the hospital. To show appreciation for the “thank you” card, our Dreamers made post-surgery recovery letters for Seth, which were mailed this past weekend to his home! The Dreamers know that anyone can be a superhero, but in order to be a superhero you have to be willing to go out of your way for others and make their day better in any way possible! We are proud of our Dreamers for their act of superhero-kindness and look forward to seeing Seth’s recovery!

If giving back is something of interest to you or your family, please see how you can help the “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles.