Wishes big and small come true at El Camino rally

One student wished for a simple bag of chips. Another, for a pair of Converse sneakers. Tyler Anguiano had something else on his mind. “I was thinking about my mom,” said the El Camino Fundamental High School senior. “And I…

Wishes big and small come true at El Camino rally

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One student wished for a simple bag of chips. Another, for a pair of Converse sneakers.
Tyler Anguiano had something else on his mind.
“I was thinking about my mom,” said the El Camino Fundamental High School senior. “And I decided to make a wish so she could finally see grandma again.”
On a recent Friday, Anguiano’s wish – and the wishes of hundreds of his classmates – were granted at El Camino’s “Make a Wish Rally.”
The school’s student government class began soliciting wishes months ago in anticipation of the event.
“We told everyone, whatever you need – no matter what it is – we want to help you,” said senior and student body president Eliza Seither.
They received nearly 350 responses, and granted each one in some way.
Anna Iralda, Anguiano’s mother, came to the rally expecting to see her son perform. Instead, she was called to the center of the gymnasium and handed a plane ticket to Delaware to see her ailing mother.
“I couldn’t believe it, that he used his wish on me. It’s amazing,” Iralda said. “It’s a great program they do here.”
“Being able to give to a woman that gives up everything for us … I’m happy to give her a wish,” Anguiano said.
Another student, sophomore Ahmed Mohammed, got to live out his dream of being a magician. He performed a card trick, correctly guessing the nine of hearts, as the crowd roared around him.
“I felt famous,” said Mohammed, who wants to turn magic into a career. “I’d like to show everybody that the impossible is possible.”
Members of the student government class raised more than $2,750 on GoFundMe and solicited donations from local companies in order to fulfill the wishes of their classmates.
That included nine laptops, a bicycle, skateboard and a check made out to the school’s drama club.
“It’s fellow students helping each other, not adults,” Seither said. “It’s all kid-run.”
Granting some wishes required a little more creativity: Three different boys asked for a date with a popular junior cheerleader.
At the rally, the students were called up to compete in a dating game, and the cheerleader, Paige Talaska, asked them questions as they answered anonymously from behind a screen.
The winner went on a “date” with Paige for the remainder of the rally – sitting at a table eating chocolate-covered strawberries as another student poured them apple cider.
From the silly wishes to the heartfelt, the student organizers hoped the rally made an impression on their classmates.
“The whole thing was about showing the whole school that we care about them and that they should care about each other,” said senior Christine Wiley.

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