Three students spearheaded the event: juniors Maverick Walker and Ali McFadden and sophomore Bella Rodriguez, all members of the school’s Principal's Advisory Committee.
“We feel like it’s really important to help unify our school and give back to the community, because they’ve given us so much,” McFadden said.
Walker, McFadden and Rodriguez began work when Dripping Springs High School Principal Joe Burns approached the group in October 2018 about planning a school-wide service project. The students said they were inspired by Texas A&M’s service day called The Big Event, which is the nation’s largest day-long service event run by students, according to the university.
"We [wanted] to do something like [The Big Event] at Dripping Springs to help with unification and to have our students at our school really know what it means to help others," Rodriguez said. "So we took off with that idea.”
The students coordinated with local establishments and the city to arrange service projects at sites including Dripping Springs Ranch Park, the thrift store at Hill Country Senior Center, Hays Women’s Shelter and a number of parks around Dripping Springs.
The students said it was initially difficult to secure community participation for a new project, but that the community was supportive once it heard the scope of the project.
"I could not be prouder of our students,” Burns said through an email to Community Impact Newspaper. “They showed what is possible when we all unite under a common goal. Not only did they work hard, they also did it with a big smile and a servant’s heart.”
All Dripping Springs High juniors and seniors participated in the Day of Service. Around 530 participated on March 25, and 400 more participated March 26.
“Hopefully next year we’ll be able to make it the whole school,” Walker said.