Walk With Me Club Continues Positive Community Efforts


Senior Sophia Orihuela snapped a selfie during the walk.

Lauren Fernández, Writer

After becoming a student ambassador for the Miami Learning Experience School (MLE), ILS senior Camila Mendoza started the Walk With Me club at La Salle. Last week on Tuesday March 2, and Friday March 5, students that registered for the walk-a-thons gathered around the ILS track in support of Walk With Me and MLE. 

The Miami Learning Experience School is a “nonprofit school for students with intellectual disabilities from birth through adulthood,” as stated on their website (https://www.mleschool.org).

Mendoza, student ambassadors, board members, and teacher sponsors, led students around the track for an hour, sporting custom tie dye shirts and dancing to music coming from a speaker they rolled around with them.

 “Compared to this week, previous walks have been hosted at tropical park [with other schools], rather than individual school walk-a-thons,” said Mendoza. Despite the change in ‘pace’ and location due to Covid, last week’s walks were energetic and effective in raising awareness and money for MLE. An option was even made available for virtual students to walk at home, and submit a video message for the MLE children. 

Ms. Adriana Arrieta, the moderator for Walk With Me, feels a strong connection to the club. “I grew up around special needs students as my mom works at a school with them and I would volunteer in her class,” said Arrieta. Naturally, when Mendoza asked her to moderate and supervise students, she gladly accepted the role. 

Student ambassador and senior at ILS, Meghan Swan, said she “think[s] it is important for everyone to realize that we are all able to strive towards the same goals and the importance of treating everyone with dignity and kindness.” 

Students were sent information and links to register from Mendoza, and had to pay $30 to cover the cost of the walk-a-thon shirt, and donate to the MLE School. The money raised “goes towards equipment and educational programs tailored to their students,” said Arrieta. Another ambassador, Arianne Lopez del Rincon, added that she wants to “provide them [MLE students] with even better resources at their school because they simply deserve it.” 

The walks last week and in the past have been a success, and there are certainly more to come. It’s never too late to not only get involved with student-led organizations at La Salle, but to branch out and support members of our community that deserve and need it most. “Sometimes the community that is most in need is the one in your neighborhood,” noted Mendoza. 

“I think everyone should participate in this year’s walk to help spread what we have learned and make a difference in the lives of others. It’s a really fun way to support a great cause,” concluded Swan.