good work in the community

Our regional newspaper published a heartwarming story recently.

Press Enterprise mastheadThe Press-Enterprise in its local section described the work of the organization known as EEK & Friends. The group is a nonprofit that offers art and music programs at Hemet High School for special needs students. I immediately paid attention to the article because Hemet High is my alma mater.

EEK & Friends has started a theater program for students with special needs. Special needs students often can’t participate in the regular theater program for a number of reasons. One of the Hemet High special needs teachers is quoted as saying, “Some of my students tried being in regular theater classes but there were a lot of after-school requirements they couldn’t meet due to transportation issues.”

The program is led by eighteen-year-old Hemet High graduate Mercedes Evans. Evans had been a theater student at Hemet High all four years. She is currently taking theater classes at the local community college.

The program is funded by the Soboba Foundation. The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians has long had a reservation at the Northeastern edge of the San Jacinto Valley. They were a poor tribe until Indian gaming became legal and they built a casino. Now as a wealthy tribe the foundation has done a lot of great work, as I have learned through my participation in the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The full story is here. It’s worth your time.

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