Marlee Calles Palacios, a Students In Action (SIA) alumna, shares her story about what it was like as a member of a Multiplying Good SIA team.

“I’ve been in the same community my entire life. I went to USC Hybrid High School in Los Angeles and now I go to UCLA. It made me realize that I’ve been in the same environment my entire life. It’s the same for most of my community as well. That’s where I grew up.

I joined Multiplying Good and their Students In Action program as a member through my high school. The first year I got very involved and fell in love with community service. My favorite project I did with Multiplying Good was called “Letters and Libros.” We set up mini public libraries around the community where you could put a book in and take one out. Our goal was to raise literacy levels within our community, and it was really special because it combined my culture with what I’ve known my entire life – school, doing well in school, education. The fact that we were able to do it in a way where we could make it a way where the community could understand what it was, was really special.”

“The person leading that project at the time told me that, sometimes people outside of the community need to be helped, but there are those times where people in the community can do it themselves. Instead of being seen as a charity case, it’s us being together and working together for our community. To serve our community. I was able to be in the point of view of not being seen as a charity case, but as someone in the community doing something good.”

“My name is Marlee. During my second year, I took over as president and it became kind of a big deal that enforced a positive multi-generational change. I was looked at as a leader in the chapter at the time, and I enjoyed doing community work that way. The fact that my school was very supportive of that and allowed me to build a connection with Multiplying Good helped me to explore our community to figure out what was realistic to do.

I realized how important community is. I’m still working with not only my high school but all the other schools in South Los Angeles. I’ve expanded my community service work even more now, which I’m really happy about.”