Hinkley Thunderbirds Spread their Wings and Wrap them Around the World

clean upCobalt blue is Hinkley High School’s color of pride, but its Helping Wings club is proving that being green is the way to go. This group works restlessly to ensure the well-being of the environment and those in need.

With the guidance of Hinkley science teacher Lee Gilliland and her sister Anne Gilliland-Cheek, former Gateway High School teacher, Helping Wings is leaving its mark on the world by removing ecological footprints. They’ve picked up trash on school grounds and along the Highline Canal with the help of other staff and student volunteers, manage a cell phone recycling program and lend their green thumbs to community gardens.

However, their desire for change is not easily quenched. Helping Wings partnered with an international organization called Hope Shines to enhance the lives of orphaned children in Rwanda. Through numerous fundraising efforts, the club has raised hundreds of dollars to purchase water filter straws for every Hope Shine’s summer camp student.

Helping Wings is recognized as a Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots program, building on Goodall’s vision of placing the power of change in the hands of youth. The club recently earned Roots & Shoots’ Project of the Month award and a grant to place anti-littering signage along the Highline Canal.

APS applauds Helping Wings for not only changing lives, but for transforming communities around the world.

Helping Wings and volunteers form a litter removal crew.
Helping Wings and volunteers form a litter removal crew.