When teacher Heather Lopez decided to cut 12 inches of her hair to donate to Locks of Love, a company that creates wigs for children suffering the effects of chemo, she decided to take her act of generosity one step further. After connecting with her principal at Fairmont School in Anaheim Hills, she rallied students and fellow teachers to join her. Their first ponytail-cutting assembly had 19 participants. After the inspiring event, many vowed to participate the following year, those with shorter hair being inspired to grow their hair in order to have enough length to donate.
The ponytails are donated to Locks of Love, who sews each strand of hair individually. Each wig requires 200 hours of intense labor. The wigs are given away for free so that children with cancer can experience lovely, natural looking hair. Fairmont covers the shipping cost, but once labeled, each package is handed back to the donor so that they can personally experience the moment of sending away their life changing donation. Each participating student, teacher or parent also receives a framed certificate honoring their gift of at least 10 inches of natural hair.
The first “ponytail waving” assembly gained traction. Now in its fifth year, the tradition continues at Fairmont, where members of the school community are always encouraged to make a lasting impression on those in need. In all, Locks of Love has received a whopping 78 feet of hair from the teachers, students, and parents. While most of the participants donate once, some students have donated twice, and organizer Heather Lopez has donated her ponytail three times.
“Being part of this event shows kids how to have a caring spirit, and builds a culture of selflessness,” says Lopez. “I remind all of the participants that to the world you may only be one person, but to that one person you help, you mean the world.”
Interior Designer of the Future
On May 23, Lockheed Martin created a surprise assembly at D Russell Parks Jr. High School in Fullerton to announce seventh grader, Dane Soaper, as the winner of a nationwide STEM design contest.
Lockheed Martin unveiled its Generation Beyond Video Challenge Contest in fall 2016, asking middle school students nationwide for their most creative ideas on the living quarters for the spacecraft that will take the first human crew to Mars in the 2030s. Hundreds of students across the U.S. submitted entries.
The Generation Beyond program seeks to excite students in grades 6 – 8 about STEM learning, careers in deep space exploration and offer deeper understanding of how STEM learning is vital to the world’s innovation future.
“It is a great honor for a student from our district to have the winning submission in a nationwide Mars spacecraft design and STEM contest,” says Superintendent Dr. Robert Pletka. “Fullerton School District works to prepare our students with skills to find their passion and succeed.”