Mollie Ray Elementary got a facelift Saturday, thanks to 200 volunteers from City Year Orlando and Starbucks.
The school is trying to overcome academic challenges as it works to improve its “D” grade.
But that didn’t stop volunteers from dreaming of what could be.
Many of them tutor and mentor students who once attended the school, so they know all about the challenges as a “D” school in a low-income area.
They also know about students’ potential.
“Even if they don’t have tangible resources, they have us,” Dieudonne Pierre said. “They have the larger Orlando community that’s behind them and supporting them.”
The volunteers also know about the power of inspiration. That’s why Pierre painted words like “patience” and “empathy” on the wall.
Craig Schneider doesn’t work with students directly, but as a regional director of operations for 90 Starbucks coffee shops in Central Florida, he knows the importance of a comfortable and inviting place.
He also believes in creating a “sense of belonging.”
“It’s nice to be able to roll up my sleeves for a change, instead of sitting behind a desk. So the opportunity to build some tables and some benches, do some painting, spread some mulch,” said Schneider.