BOCA RATON, Fla. — A Boca Raton Community High School teacher is helping students succeed in and out of the classroom, and he's not doing it alone.
On Thursday, he recruited the help of an attorney and former student for a life-changing discussion. And it turns out, his students are already changing lives themselves.
Finding ways to adapt and succeed is what high school students do best, and it's the idea behind the "Restoring Culture" movement at Boca Raton Community High School, led by teacher Jordan Hernandez.
"There's something huge about community, and the pandemic helped us realize that," said student Mateo Morales.
The movement is led by students, and it's all about bringing back the culture and school spirit that students said they felt before the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning.
"The pandemic has really made us all struggle, and the teachers as well," said student Sophia Vega.
It's a message of acceptance and it's especially timely since October is both Hispanic Heritage Month and Anti-Bullying Month.
On Thursday, Boca Raton Community High School hosted a special guest to share that message.
Larissa Salvador is an attorney and former student at the school. She's also an immigrant and wanted to give back to the school where she says she gained so much.
"Since I was 16, it's always been my plan," Salvador said. "For all the good they did for me to be here today."
Thursday morning, Salvador spoke to students about things like culture, acceptance, and also applying to college. She said that with many parents working so much right now, it's important for students to have teachers and mentors at school that believe in them and their futures.
"Teachers are such an important part of this school and society and a lot of times we're taking that for granted," said student Yago Portilho.
The student leaders of "Restoring Culture" are also part of a program called "We Dine Together" to help build friendships and make sure no one eats lunch alone.