Surprise Squad inspires Avondale students to help others, launch campus Surprise Squad
Surprise Squad is sponsored by Valley Toyota Dealers.
AVONDALE, AZ (Surprise Squad) -- David Isham teaches at West Point High School in Avondale. One of the classes he teaches is a class on leadership, and to help inspire and motivate his students, he sometimes shows them different Surprise Squad stories. The students loved them so much that they decided to start a campus version of the Surprise Squad. Isham reached out to the Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad to see if the team could answer the students’ questions. Little did they know that they were going to be surprised themselves.
“We think what you’re doing is phenomenal,” 3TV’s Gina Maravilla told the class. “As high school students, to not just think about yourselves but to think about your peers and your community and want to give back is remarkable. We think you guys will inspire other teenagers, not just across the Phoenix area, not just across Arizona. We think you will inspire teenagers across the United States and maybe even the world to do the same. To not just think of yourselves, but to give to those who are in need and to make a difference.
“And as many of you know, we are called Arizona’s Family,” Maravilla continued. “That’s not just a slogan to us. We’ve been Arizona’s Family for a long time at Channel 3 and now Channel 5. We meant that. We are family, and so many of us have grown up in this community like you guys are growing up in this community. So Surprise Squad is all about family. It’s about taking care of each other. We’re thrilled that you guys want to pick up the baton and you want to take the torch and you want to run with it. So, I’m curious, what kind of questions do you guys have?”
“What are the steps to surprise someone?” One student asked.
“So, everybody’s a little bit different,” Maravilla explained. “It depends on what the surprise is. It depends on what your budget is. It depends on what their need is.”
Maravilla continued to answer questions from the class before turning to their teacher. “Mr. Isham, we’re going to interview you if that’s okay? Tell me why you contacted us.”
“The reason I contacted you is because a month ago, a little over a month ago, the students came up to me and wanted to initiate a Surprise Squad,” he answered. “They wanted to look at the details behind it, what to do and how they can help be a part and engage in not only the school but the community and helping others.”
“What do you hope they’ll learn from the experience of creating a Surprise Squad?” Maravilla asked.
“That they are empowered, that they can change the world,” he said. “That together collectively they can make a difference and can turn this world into a place they want to see. This is student-driven. They’re the ones that came up with the ideas. They’re the ones that are doing it, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This is a huge undertaking, it’s a lot of work, and I’ll go the distance with them, and I’m sure everyone else here at this campus will. I think it changes the world. It’s hope. It’s the one thing we’re all looking for, and these students have it.”
“I know that you guys invited us here to give you some background on the Surprise Squad, starting your own Surprise Squad,” Maravilla said as she handed Isham an envelope. “But what I’m not sure you’re aware of that we’re all aware of is that actually, you guys are the subject of a new Surprise Squad story. And here at Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and on behalf of the Valley Toyota Dealers, we wanted to give you a little seed money to start your Surprise Squad here at West Point. Go ahead and open it.”
“Oh, wow. Thank you,” Isham said when he read the certificate inside saying the Surprise Squad was giving the school $3,000 to get their campus Surprise Squad up and running.
“You guys are awesome and deserve it, so let the surprises begin,” Maravilla said as she gave the teacher a high-five. “And just know that you guys are changing the world, right here in Avondale. And that’s pretty darn cool.”