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The Talon

The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

What Dreams are Made of

Biology Teacher Prompts Bedroom Makeover For Student With Leukemia
Carlos’ room after the makeover. (Photo submitted by April Lamb)

How often do you listen to your gut feeling?

Biology teacher April Lamb decided to listen to hers one Sunday evening and was able to help a student enjoy life a little more.

Freshman Carlos Castillo was diagnosed with leukemia and has been receiving homebound schooling from Lamb. Wanting to make a difference in his life, Lamb gathered resources with the help of the district and gave Carlos a bedroom makeover.

“It was a Sunday night and I was on my phone and had this little inkling in my heart that I wanted to do something special for him because no kid deserves to go through what he’s going through,” Lamb
said. “I was initially thinking how can I surprise him with just something for his house but then I thought; he’s in his room because he’s home all the time, let’s remake the space.”

Lamb knew she had the creative ability to give Carlos his dream room seeing she loves woodworking and DIY projects however she knew she couldn’t do it by herself. She reached out to Associate Principal Courtney Peterson and explained the situation, to which she immediately responded by getting help from district volunteers.

“I was so flooded with emotion after I got off the phone in Peterson’s office,” Lamb said. “She helped me get in contact with Melinna Lopez, the Resource Development Coordinator, and Marilyn Mann, the Community Engagement Specialist. Once I was in contact with them, they were so excited to help make Carlos’ dream
room makeover come true.”

The challenge was to make his room exactly what he wanted. Lamb contacted Carlos’ principles of architectural design teacher, Deanne Otis, and asked if she would create a fake assignment for him. Otis was happy to help, and assigned Carlos a project where he had to pull in links under a budget to create his dream room. Carlos ended up doing the entire project without knowing that what he was designing was soon going to be a reality.

“When he found out, he was surprised and had a smile on his face,” Lamb said. “I feel like the overall room in general, he was very grateful for.”

Carlos found out a week after he completed the fake assignment about the district’s plan to remodel his bedroom. The district office used their list of volunteers who help when there is need. One individual painted his room, a different person bought him a new comforter and sheets, and other people bought other things just
as Carlos had designed. Volunteers include: The PTO, the Autumn Creek Elementary Watch D.O.G.S., North Bend Creek Elementary Watch D.O.G.S, Humble Noon Lions Club, Melina Lopez and Meredith Mann.

“They have a heart of gold and have been so helpful through the whole process,” Lamb said. “They were able to get involved and help fund everything.”

Carlos can now enjoy the new additions to his room thanks to everyone who pitched in to help, and to Lamb for trusting her gut to step up and make a difference. Carlos loves gaming and during his bedroom makeover he received a mounted TV on his wall so he can now play games. He also received a desk which makes it a little
easier to stay on track with assignments.

“I couldn’t imagine what he and his family were going through and I just wanted to encourage him to keep fighting,” Lamb said. “My plan was so little but God’s plan was so big. Just that little tug in my heart and me listening to God’s lead really made my little idea so much bigger.”

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About the Contributor
Hayli Rubidoux
Hayli Rubidoux, Writer
This is Hayli Rubidoux’s first year on the newspaper staff. She enjoys writing stories from different angles and taking photos of events around the school. Hayli is also on the yearbook staff, this being her first year there as well. Although she’s a junior, this is only Hayli’s second year at AHS. She previously lived in Arizona and attended school there her freshman year. In her time away from school, she enjoys going roller skating with friends and watching TV with her mom. Hayli is looking forward to being able to tell everyone’s story through journalism and put out news people not only are entertained by, but that makes them care.

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