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The Californian

Cal students volley for a healthier life

Three students create a non-profit organization combining volleyball and healthy life habits

From+left+to+right%2C+Cal+junior+Natalie+Aguilera%2C+senior+Cesar+Aguilera%2C+and+senior+Alexis+Klingler+started+a+non-profit+organization+to+help+low-income+students.
From left to right, Cal junior Natalie Aguilera, senior Cesar Aguilera, and senior Alexis Klingler started a non-profit organization to help low-income students.

From left to right, Cal junior Natalie Aguilera, senior Cesar Aguilera, and senior Alexis Klingler started a non-profit organization to help low-income students.

From left to right, Cal junior Natalie Aguilera, senior Cesar Aguilera, and senior Alexis Klingler started a non-profit organization to help low-income students.

Karina Myrenget, Staff Writer

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While most people think of summer as a time to relax and do nothing, three students at Cal High thought the opposite, and decided to do something for the community.

Seniors Cesar Aguilera and Alexis Klingler teamed up with Natalie Aguilera to start a non-profit organization to help elementary and middle school kids in low-income areas.

The students teach kids how to play volleyball, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. They also try to get across to these young kids the importance of attending college.

“We created it because we believe there was a need for it to better serve lower-income communities,” said Natalie Aguilera, Cesar’s younger sister.

The trio hosted camps to introduce different activities such as volleyball so the kids have alternative ways to spend their time.

“Everything we teach is to help improve the lives of the kids attending the camp (so) they have better options to live a healthier life,” said Klinger. “Kids who play sports have an easier time in school.”

The trio also wants to bring awareness to the problems in that the children and their families face, and some of the hardships they have to endure. This is one of the reasons why volleyball, besides being a hobby of the founders, is such a big part of their non-profit organization.

“We chose the name of our organization because our goal was to teach volleyball and living a healthy life to kids,” Natalie Aguilera said. “I have been playing volleyball for eight years and I have always wanted to teach kids how to play.”

Cesar Aguilera said he came up with the name for the organization,Volleying  For  A  Healthy Life, because playing volleyball and other sports is such a big part of living a healthy lifestyle. He said they aim to maintain a positive, fun learning environment for participants.

“It feels great helping the kids because you are making a difference in people’s lives and it feels great to give back through a sport that I love,” said Natalie Aguilera. “We also teach them how to better prepare for college.”

The students believe that education is one of the best investments anyone can make. They want to show kids how beneficial a college education will be to their future.

The non-profit is run almost entirely by the three students, but the Aguileras’ father does help with some of it.

“I helped them gain their tax-exempt status and guide them on ways to raise funds,” said Cesar Aguilera. “It’s a great feeling to know that my kids are aware of the needs of lower-income communities and want to make a difference in people’s lives through the sport of volleyball.”

The trio still has a few goals they’d like to accomplish in the future and aspire to reach these.

“One of our goals is to sponsor a volleyball team,” Klingler said.

Their other goals include working with coaches to volunteer for special training classes, organizing a charity volleyball game, and setting up times with local schools and organizations for free gym time to practice.

Volleying  For  A  Healthy Life also has a GoFundMe, a website used to raise money.

“We are beginning to accept donations from corporations.  So far we have raised over $1,700,” said Natalie Aguilera.

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
Cal students volley for a healthier life