Leanne Carrasco decided to celebrate her high school graduation by giving back.
As KTRK reports, the teenager from Houston just graduated from Waltrip High School. When it came time to decide how to mark the occasion, Carrasco didn’t want a traditional graduation bash.
Instead, the teen wanted to do something special for the women and children at the Star of Hope Family Development Center, a homeless shelter where she has volunteered. Carrasco told KTRK:
“I didn’t want to spend so much money […] on a party when that’s just going to last a day. And I feel that if I’m able to give to the people, that’ll last more than a day. And I just want people to be able to have some stuff that they don’t normally have.”
The teen decided to throw a pizza party for the women and children of the homeless shelter. She enlisted the aid of her friends and began putting together “hygiene bags” of toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, and hand wipes.
On the big day, Carrasco ordered 95 pizzas and had 400 hygiene bags to hand out to the shelter’s residents. Scott Arthur, a spokesman for Star of Hope, told CNN:
“It was a very magical day. It gives you a hope for the youth of today. They [the high schoolers] were able to think of other people.”
Arthur added that he was impressed by the respect the teens showed to the residents.
“The residents saw this as a validation that people do care,” he said.
That was exactly what Carrasco was hoping to do. She told Fox 26:
“I just want to be a blessing and show these beautiful women and children that no matter what, someone does care.”
In all, the teens were able to serve 200 people during the party. Carrasco told CNN:
“Not a lot of people have the same options as me. It’s not fair. There are a lot of people who need help. So I give it.”
The teen plans to make a career of giving back. She will be going to Briar Cliff University in Iowa in the fall to study nursing.