Written By Mr. Inland Empire
What do you get when you take educators full of passion add a little alumni from Eisenhower High School and top it off with local celebrities like Wet Paint Larry? You get Own It Rialto and over 500 empowered young people.
Own It Rialto led by Eisenhower teacher Chad Rickard and his wife Emily have one goal in mind change Rialto for the better. Chad & Emily have taken on the task of taking the energy and passion former Eisenhower High students have once they graduate from High School and have turned that energy loose on Rialto in awesome ways. With the help of the popular Street Artist Wet Paint Larry and the Rialto Police Department Own It Rialto has targeted to areas that they want to launch their efforts. Local events, Morgan Elementary Students and a better understanding of how their local leaders represent them.
As a kick off to working with Morgan Students the group made wrist bands that had the name of their group “Own It Rialto” and the year that class will graduate. Group leader Chad Rickard said “we want these kids to know we expect them to graduate so if nobody else in their lives expect it someone will”.
Own It Rialto came out with Wet Paint Larry and a Tug of War contest between Morgan Elementary students and Own It Rialto member Louis Redd. The game was crafted to teach the students if they worked together and helped each other out that they could do anything. The students were victorious in the game with a little help from Rialto Police Officer Rice from the Community Policing Program. Next Morgan Elementary students were shown what Own It Rialto is and how it is possible to overcome a bad situation and do amazing things. Main speaker Esli Brito spoke to the kids about issues that they all deal with. Esli spoke about coming to this country at a young age and overcoming cultural and language barriers. Esli is just one of the many group members that want local kids to know that they can do anything. From local celebrities like Wet Paint Larry, Rialto alum Niyi Obileye that are acting in films, Police officers like Rialto Officer Rice and even Julie Vega who is going after her passion of being a chef.
Chad Rickard had a message for Rialto that he posted on Facebook:
“Our next steps will be to start volunteering in after-school programs and develop programs to help them in areas such as reading, athletics, and entrepreneuership. If you are someone or know someone who would like to get involved, please contact me. This was a beautiful experience today; thank you to all those who made it possible.Larry Jones Emily Rickard Esli Brito Julie Vega Niyi Obileye Louis ReddDavid Phillips Jessica Banks Ana I. Gonzalez Thank you to Principal Vara and Morgan Elementary. Thank you Scott Sparks for letting me hang out with little students instead of my own for a morning!”