The campus at the Camarillo Airport has long had a reputation for handling Oxnard Union High School District’s more difficult students—but Alexicca doesn’t see her school that way.
“I came to Frontier to experience all the great clubs it has,” said the 17-year-old junior from Oxnard. “I could have gone to either Hueneme or Frontier, and I wanted to come here.”
Early this semester, Alexicca and a group of other students at the school started Leo Club, a community service group affi liated with the Camarillo/Somis Pleasant Valley Lions Club. The Lions Club has existed since 1945 and raises about $60,000 a year for various charitable organizations in the area.
Alexicca said the Leo Club has followed the lead of the Lions Club, including participating in the local pumpkin patch, decorating a float for the Rose Parade, wrapping and delivering Christmas presents with the sheriff’s department and donating canned food for the annual drive hosted by FOOD Share.
“Giving back is awesome,” said Alexicca, the treasurer of the Leo Club at Frontier High School. “It keeps me busy, and I know it all means so much to the whole group.”
One of the group’s faculty advisers, Kim Dallape, said the 15 students officially meet twice a week, but they end up getting together on other days too. Dallape said efforts such as those made by the Leo Club should dispel any misconceptions about the caliber of the students at Frontier.
“When students get here, they even say that they’re losers,” said Dallape, who has taught at the school for nine years. “Everything about it starts negative. We just tell them it’s a second chance. No judgment. Now we get students who want to come here.”
Dallape said members of the Leo Club have been eager throughout the holiday season for the various opportunities to serve the community.
“This club offers them a format to come together and do something positive,” Dallape said. “They’re not my ideas. It’s just them doing it. I’m just along for the ride.”
Marbella Perez, an 18-yearold senior at Frontier, said the club has been one of the highlights of her semester.
“I just wanted to give back to the community any way I could,” said Marbella, who lives in Oxnard. “I’ve enjoyed everything we’ve done.”
Marbella said helping with a holiday dinner for the RAIN Project of Camarillo was her favorite experience from the fall.
RAIN provides assistance to homeless people.
“We got to supervise Jolly Jumpers, helped hand out presents and helped pass out food,” Marbella said. “It was great to see Santa and help out the kids.”
Dallape called the club’s first semester a resounding success and said students are already planning what they can do for the community in the spring. Leo Club members have discussed plans to visit convalescent homes in the area and to read books to younger children at Casa Pacifica in Camarillo.
“We work hard to find ways for our students to be involved in the community,” Dallape said. “Leo Club sends the message that it doesn’t matter how much money you have or how powerful you are, you always have something to contribute.”