TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Squad goals often means good times with good friend. But for one South Valley student it means doing good for the community.
“I was shocked – I didn’t know what to say,” said Pleasant View Elementary student Cristian Rodriquez.
Humble, modest, and unassuming describe Rodriquez when he is put into the spotlight. But it is those actions that motivate him to put hard working people in his community into the spotlight. Rodriquez is part of ‘The SQUAD’ at Pleasant View Elementary in Tulare County.
“It gives them a place to come and really feel a part of something. It gives back to the community and work as a team. And to develop those characteristics that we really want,” said Pleasant View Elementary Principal, Kim Parrish.
SQUAD stands for Students who are Qualified, Unique, Awesome and Disciplined.
Rodriquez has been involved with the program for three years. The seventh grader is known for being a leader and not a follower.
“He comes every time on his own. He gives his leadership because he wants too. He participates because he wants too. Everything that he does because that part of his heart,” said Pleasant View Elementary teacher Tashima Irving.
Irving had Rodriquez as one of her students a few years ago and she started the after-school program. Rodriquez is also known for caring and giving thanks.
This idea Rodriquez and his classmates had for the SQUAD was to show appreciation to Central Valley farm workers.
“That was their idea to go out into their community and thank an agricultural worker. So we went to a grape field, we went to a dairy. We went out and they gave out Gatorades and thank you cards out on their own,” said Irving.
Rodriquez also took on the task of playing Santa Claus on campus last month.
His “SQUAD” wanted to give younger classmates the opportunity to see Saint Nick before their holiday break.
Rodriquez hopes he did not let his teachers down in that important role.
“I told her you won’t be disappointed in me and I’ll try my best,” he said.