It’s a stark change that’s taken place between the temps behind Roosevelt. Buildings once bland and lifeless have undergone a simple face lift, which has changed the atmosphere of the area completely. Students have remarked that the colorful paint that now coats them is a marked improvement over the boring beige that students have become accustomed to over the years.
Mr. Patrick Gleason took charge of the project over the summer, organizing efforts to paint the temps bright colors to bring a little life to the place. Gleason credits alumni Jasmine Sesay with the idea for the project recalling how she told him: “I think we should paint the houses different colors, having different colored houses would make people happier.”
“We did the Raider Nation mural by the field, that was the summer of 2018. We did all the straight color ones this past summer, we started in August, three/four weekends in August, one or two weekends in September, one in October as well. We’ve done the four class colors, and three in blue. Seven different Saturdays”
Funds for the project came from a generous donation made by the Michael D. Maxwell, Jr. Foundation, a charitable organization formed in the name of an ERHS graduate who took his own life in 2016. “I knew Michael, he was my friend. His mom and family started a foundation for mental health awareness and things like that, and they reached out to me once we started Bring Change to Roosevelt, and wanted to know how they could support us, so they donated funds that we used in the Safe Space Room that the school has built, and we also used funds for this project.” said Gleason.
Gleason and the students who worked on the project were very positive about the whole experience. “A lot of the same people have helped each time, and we kind of have our own little temp painting community,” said Gleason. Senior Maerielle Batugo said of the project “ It was a great experience, [and] I would recommend it to other students!”
In the end, all of the hard work that went towards this push for improved mental health has really paid off. Mr. Gleason saif “ I’ve had people tell me that they like it” and when he asked his class if it made a difference they said “Yeah, when are you painting more?”