Courtesy of Meredith Bowen
During the season of giving, members of the Pi Kappa Alpha, or PIKE, fraternity and the Delta Gamma sorority decided to give back to the San Diego community in a unique way.
The fraternity members have been volunteering at Clay Elementary, a local San Diego elementary school, since 2014.
There they help set up winter musicals, read to the kids and go and help with art classes weekly. But this year, they decided to create a mural for the entrance of the school with the help of Delta Gamma.
The mural depicts an ocean and a sunset and is dedicated to influential leaders in our society like Nelson Mandela, Sonia Sotomayor, Malala Yousafzai, the Dali Lama and Jane Goodall. The schools staff voted on which influential leaders they wanted.
The San Diego State students painted all the hard to reach spots, while the elementary students will finish off the details of the mural.
Nikolas Marquez, mechanical engineering senior and the community service chairman of PIKE, helped organize the mural with Christina Snell, the art teacher at Clay.
The school paints new murals every two years and in the past PIKE helped create a recycled bottle cap mural which is designed to be an underwater scene.
“I thought it was really fun because the kids look up to us so it’s great that we get to do this for them,” Dena Price, athletic training sophomore and member of Delta Gamma, said. “They had so many questions for us and they couldn’t wait to help paint the wall.”
She said the kids enjoy the help from college students and look up to them.
This is the first time PIKE and Delta Gamma have teamed up for an event like this.
The organizations also put on an event with the school during “Love of Reading” week where they help the students with reading.
“We hope to keep the relationship with Clay Elementary in the future and continue to help them in the classroom and different projects that help the school,” Marquez said.
The effect of the mural is one that will last a lifetime.
The fraternity puts on multiple philanthropic events a year, this one being one of the most important.