David Valencia’s Touching Senior Project

Azalia Munoz, Senior Spotlight Editor

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“The Senior Project is a student-selected exploration of a topic which results in a research paper, a project or a product, and a presentation. This approach is one which allows students to use a variety of skills in the areas of writing, speaking, research, and documentation. Upon completion, students have learned more about their topics, their community, and, most importantly, about themselves.”

Senior, David Valencia (PapoDavey), decided that for his project he would give back to his hometown Ciudad Obregon in Mexico. He gathered donations from students at Sahuaro, using social media as a platform to spread the word. After collecting bags and bags of clothing, he drove eight hours to give the items to a hostel, a place that provides inexpensive food and lodging for people that are in need. When asked how this project has impacted him, he replied with, “It definitely made me more humble and grateful for the things that I have.” He says that it made him feel really good to give back to the community, especially since it was much needed.

If he would have an opportunity to do things differently then he would find a way to get way more clothing to donate after he saw how necessary it was. In the future he wants to do more charitable efforts, and will 100% give back to his hometown again.

This a slight shift of the person David used to be over a year ago. He started making vlogs the summer of sophomore year, and into his junior year of high school. He described himself as outgoing, fun, and very extroverted – which are traits he still holds present day. The attention even resulted in having an article written about him by The Paper Cut. He recalls feeling as if there was certain expectations when the camera was on, having to put on a persona of some sorts. David adds that back then he didn’t have much of a ‘filter’ whereas he now does. During the time his channel starting getting popular, he felt a range of emotions. “I felt good, but it was a double-edged sword. Some people supported me from the jump, but others were nothing but negative towards the fact that I got ‘popular’.”

In the end he says he just wanted to put out good content that happened in his life into a video. “The whole reason I made a channel was due to all the stupid things my friends and I did.”  Looking back on the person he used to be he says that he’s matured and grown more as a person since then.

“Before I left the place almost everyone there was shaking my hand and thanking me over and over again.  The look on everyone’s faces as they saw that I had brought clothes for them was priceless. It really makes you think about how lucky we all are for having clothes on our back, roof over our heads, and food on the table.  I wish to go back soon to the hostel and be able to be the reason for the smile on everyone that is a guest there,” David said of the experience.

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