LUTZ – At some middle schools, different organizations clash with one another over supporting various charities or school causes. But that isn’t the way it works at Martinez Middle School.
Mia Del Brocco is the president of the Martinez Student Government Association (MSGA). Her friend, Mica Jadick, is vice president of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS). Both organizations are separate, but both have the best interests of the school at heart. They take on causes that help the Martinez community and work with one another on many projects.
For example, Mia handles fundraising for the Golden Barrel canned food campaign. She was hoping that she could get more than 1,000 cans of food to donate to the Metropolitan Ministries Association. Instead, more than 4,000 cans were gathered.
She started her efforts by using the school’s intercom to make announcements and worked the Martinez closed-circuit morning newscasts to make sure that the students knew what was happening. Word got out in the Martinez community and each homeroom had a basket to collect the cans. The entire MSGA became involved and a lot of people benefited from the hard work.
Next on Mia’s slate was to work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. She and her class started to collect money to help the victims of drunken driving accidents.
“I knew some people who were injured by drunk drivers,” Mia said. “I had to help. A friend of mine had her leg and some ribs broken, and someone else I knew had a bunch of ribs broken. It wasn’t their fault.”
Mia tried to recruit people who were the perpetrators in drunken driving incidents to tell their story. She had them speak to classes and made sure that donations came in to help the victims.
The latest project is to raise money for the homeless. Mica, who wants a career in medicine, is working on getting supplies for Operation Patriot, a foundation that gets things such as toiletries for a nursing home for veterans.
“We get them arts and crafts and things for them to do,” Mica said. “Anything that can make their lives easier.”
Mica has a strong concern for veterans and soldiers. She is part of a book drive that sends books to the troops. Posters are set up all around Martinez to provide books. Teachers at Martinez are also involved.
Also, Mica is helping out with the NJHS toy drive. More than 200 toys were collected during the holidays by the Martinez students.
It isn’t a competition, they both said. They both work on each other’s staff and it’s all a matter of mutual cooperation. To be on the NJHS, students must earn a 3.5 grade point average. Anyone who falls below is put on probation and has nine weeks to get back to the 3.5. Also, everyone must have superior conduct grades.
Being involved in school activities and taking an active role in the community is all worth it, Mia said.
“The rest of the students respect us,” Mia said. “They know what we are trying to do. Anyone who doesn’t like it and is a bully, we report them to the deputy.”
“If anyone doesn’t like it and starts to bully someone because they are trying to help, we see it and step in,” Mica added. “With everything we do, we know we make a difference. We do it in society and it makes us part of the community.’’
Martinez Middle School is located at 5601 W. Lutz Lake Fern Road in Lutz.