October 9, 2012


Photo Courtesy: Penovi Orjales family.

The Orjales brothers--Lucas, Andres, and Pablo--sit in a ring of used soccer cleats that they have collected. The Washington-Lee high schoolers will ship the cleats to needy kids around the world.

The Orjales brothers of Arlington made their first shipment of 30 soccer cleats to India on Saturday. They have plans to ship to Mozambique, Macedonia, and Nigeria.

“We’re sending, I think, 60 pairs of cleats to Haiti,” Lucas Orjales said. Not bad for three high schoolers and a project they started in August.

They have an impressive business acumen, the way they stay on message in an interview and answer with specific details.

They are particularly impressive, given that Andres, 16 and a Washington Lee High School junior, is the oldest of the three. The twins, Lucas and Pablo, are 14, and freshmen.

The three have been collecting used cleats in Arlington for about six weeks and had accumulated about 180 pair before Saturday. The sizes range from small enough to fit 2 or 3 year olds to adult sizes.

They call the project “Your Cleats for Bare Feets” and the plan is to distribute them to needy children worldwide.

“They have started very small,” their mother, Celina Penovi, said.

The first 30 that left for India on Saturday went in a duffle bag with family friend William Cook, and their father, Rudy Orjales, plans to deliver cleats as he travels in coming months. However, hand delivery might not always be an option, the boys and their mother said. The shipment they are planning for Mozambique is 60 pairs.

“We might have to contact the embassy in terms of sending used cleats,” she said. They need to make sure customs agents know the shoes are a donation and not for sale. She is a lawyer at the World Bank. “We are trying now to see what would be the best way” to ship them.

This project started over the summer, when the boys wondered what to do with their own used shoes.

“All of us had--like--old cleats that didn’t fit us anymore,” Pablo said. They thought of sending them overseas. Looking abroad is not odd for the Orjales family. When in Argentina--their mother’s home country--they discovered an orphanage that needed clothes, so the family got a hold of schools in  Arlington and helped set that up.

Penovi attributes the activist attitude to two things: travelling and seeing needy people in other countries, and eating “dinner [at home] at night, every night.” The boys said the discussion around the table often turns to world issues.

“It was our decision to do this,” Andres said, adding, their parents “were there to support us.”


philanthropy, sports, , Washington-Lee High School


October 9, 2012

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2010 Budget Presentation to the Vancouver Board of EducationPresented by Ashton Garay, Youth VoiceApril 15th, 2010Introduction:I would like to acknowledge the ttiairaondl shared territories of the Coast Salish peoples.Good evening Trustees, and Staff of the Vancouver Board of Education. My name is Ashton Garay, I am Shimshiam First Nations and a grade 11 student at Vancouver Technical Secondary School. I am here to speak from a youth perspective about the 2010 proposed budget.The recommendations in this presentation reflect my voice and I am sure reflecting similar concerns other youth have. I want to thank the Trustees and staff for their past support of the enhancement of Aboriginal Education and student success.The VSB’s Core purpose states: “It is our collective responsibility to ensure the highest quality of learning experience for all students with a focus on student engagement, learning and development in a safe, inclusive environment.”I am concerned that the proposed budget will not be able to provide the much needed resources to ensure the highest quality of learning for all students. And in fact would greatly impact families who are marginalized, many who are Aboriginal. As you are aware, the Aboriginal communities have not shared the same educational opportunities as other communities and continue to face many challenges. But we all want to have a successful learning experience. As the Youth Representative for the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA), I was very hopeful that we would begin to see big changes in our schools and Aboriginal students would experience the promised core purpose.But the proposed budget has me worried that this will not happen. I am left wondering about many things and would like to leave you with some thoughts to consider during your final budget discussions.Please Consider:How does the proposed budget support the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement goal areas; Belonging, Mastery and Culture and Community?Many Aboriginal families have financial challenges and rely on the school to provide academic support and engaging learning and cultural experiences.When there are less resources and time supporting teachers and administrators, who will provide the extra tutoring, guidance and mentoring for the Aboriginal youth? There should be resource blocks or tutoring every day for those who need it.When there is a possible loss of music programs, how will Aboriginal families get a chance to share in a non-traditional music forms? They won’t be able to pay for private lessons.Families who have financial challenges don’t have the extra money for fees or team uniforms. Many youth are left with nothing to do after school. Schools should be able to offer after school support or activities for all students not just those who make the team or have money. The Enhancement Agreement recognizes the need to increase the staff and students understanding of authentic histories and cultural awareness. How can we do this when there is a proposed reduction in District Consultant support that help teachers learn at professional Development opportunities?The proposed budget recommends reduced staffing, reduced principal and vice principal time in some inner city schools and at secondary schools, there will be fewer area-councilors, psychologist and speech language services. These resources are needed to ensure that Aboriginal students and families get the leadership and the support they need.Conclusion:I would again like to thank the current and previous School Board members for their ongoing work in supporting Aboriginal youth. I hope that you consider all my questions and how the proposed budget has an impact on Aboriginal learners and their families. With fewer resources at the schools, families will have less and less money or support. I hope that you are concerned about all the added stress and demand that these cuts would have on our communities. And again, I ask you to consider how the proposed budget supports the goals of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement that we all signed June 25th, 2009.Thank you,

Gombes 157 days ago

Muchas Gracias

Creo que han pensado una brillante idea, para colaborar con los chicos que menos tienen alrededor del mundo entero. Quiero Felicitarlos y Agradecerles por este hermoso gesto que nos llena de orgullo, a todos los que formamos parte de la Asociación Civil Mostrando Caminos, en Argentina. Nuestros niños van a disfrutar muchísimo de este gran aporte. ¡¡¡¡¡¡Felicitaciones y Adelante!!!!!!!

Jonathan 207 days ago

share this story

This story should be shared with the world. It restores hope in today's youth.

Thomas Shave 236 days ago

Cleates for Feets

What a "great" story! It speaks well of Arlington's generosity and of the impact which three young men can have on the world. Well done boys.

Edward Lynch 236 days ago

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