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Horizon Middle School students face challenge before start of school
By: Stephanie Guadian
HORIZON CITY, Texas - Horizon Middle School students are among the poorest in El Paso County. And with the start of classes just a couple of weeks away, school officials are putting out a call for help. Many of their students are desperate for school supplies.
The Sapien family has seen its share of hard times. Right now, the single father and his three children are living in a small mobile home in far east El Paso County. The home has no running water. "The way we have to shower is with buckets. And we don't have any electricity, said Melissa Sapien. Melissa will be an 8th grader at Horizon Middle School this year. Her father is looking for work -- and money is beyond tight. Back to school shopping is not even an option.
The story is one shared by many families living in the Agua Dulce and Ascension colonias. Almost all of the 1,000 students at Horizon Middle School are low income. That's the reason behind a donation drive for school supplies.
"If a student comes to school and doesn't have pencils, paper or notebooks we want to be able to provide for them, said principal Cathy Macias. Backpacks, school supplies, shoes and uniforms are all needed.
Gabriel Ortega is another Horizon student. He is one of six children. Without help, the borderland boy would be forced to show up empty handed on the first day of school. "We don't want to add that stressor and students. We just want them to come to school -- and be ready to learn, said school counselor Adela Fernandez.
Melissa, her sister and brother have already learned some hard lessons in life -- but they aren't giving up on school. And that at least earns them top marks in courage.
For more information on what donations are needed and where they can be made, please call Horizon Middle School at 915-926-4700.