Brahmas unite to support student

After a fire destroys a junior’s home, Girls League and others collect donations.

It was a Thursday and a Diamond Bar High School junior was at work when she received a phone call from her mother. There had been a fire at their house.

Although she initially assumed it was a minor fire, she started receiving texts from worried friends that led her to realize that the fire had damaged a large part of her home.

“When I first found out… I wasn’t really that worried. I was like, ‘I can go home, right? We still have a place to live,’” she said. “But then, when the pictures someone sent me finally loaded, I was kind of shocked. I didn’t know how to feel—just shocked.”

The student, who asked to remain anonymous, stayed at a family friend’s house overnight and did not see her family because they had been airlifted to a burn center.

She attended school the next day, then visited her house and went to get new textbooks and clothes with GLC Ginger Auten.

The student is now living in a rental home.

After finding out about the disaster, Auten also took action by emailing all DBHS teachers.

DBHS staff members, the math department, the basketball team and Girls League fundraised by collecting donations, according to Auten.

“I do know that this Brahma family is so incredibly amazing, and so I knew that if I reached out to everybody that we would get some good help for her and her family,” Auten said. “It’s not easy losing your base, your foundation—it takes a little time to get back on your feet.”

Girls League sprang to action by collecting donations from club members in a general meeting and donating $100 from club funds, raising about $400. The service club also wrote a card to the student.

“It was really sweet. I felt really cared about. It was nice that I could just have a giftcard on hand and get what I needed,” the student said.  

Girls League adviser Lisa Pacheco and Spanish teachers Nancy Najera and Rosa Romero also asked their students to contribute to the fundraiser.  

“When somebody has a fire, it’s obviously an immediate concern, and they need help right away,” Pacheco said. “We went in full force and presented Mrs. Auten with a check the following week.”

Girls League co-President Erica Dang said that she was thankful the members lended a helping hand to a student who lost everything.

“I personally was really proud of our club because we were able to help someone who needed it, especially a fellow student,” Dang said. “We wanted to show our support.”