High School sophomore gives back to his community

pacifica tribuneHigh School sophomore gives back to his community

  • By Jean Bartlett Features Correspondent

Reed Blount, 15, is a sophomore at Terra Nova High School. His big focus at school is art. He considers his ability to draw portraits of people to be his best art skill.

“I love art and history,” Reed said. “I plan to take all four art classes that are offered at Terra Nova as well as ceramics.”

A Pacifican since birth, Reed is a graduate of Ortega Elementary and Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School. He has also been a dedicated volunteer with the Pacific Beach Coalition since he was in fifth grade. That was the year that Reed began walking the Scottish terrier of Pacific Beach Coalition (PBC) site captain and former PBC vice president Deirdre Finnegan-Martin. To thank Reed for walking her dog, Finnegan-Martin introduced Reed to many “cool adventures,” including paddle boarding in Princeton Harbor. She also introduced Reed to the PBC.

“I started attending monthly cleanups at Sharp Park Beach and soon I was attending meetings and getting very involved with the Beach Coalition,” Reed said. “Since then I’ve become good friends with many people on the PBC and still help with cleanup events.”

Reed’s work with the PBC is extensive. He helps run the PBC dumpsites for Coastal Cleanup Day and Earth Day. Along with Finnegan-Martin and Pacifican Pauline Taini, Reed is also a co site-captain at Sharp Park Beach for their monthly (second Saturday of every month) cleanups. For the fifth year in a row he has helped build the PBC’s parade float for the Pacific Coast Fog Fest. At this year’s parade, the float celebrated the PBC’s 11th Annual Pacifica Earth Day of Action’s honoree, the bee. “Bee the Change, Bee an Earth Hero,” is the PBC’s 2015 theme.

“Deirdre and I built a beehive out of 90 percent recycled materials for the parade,” Reed said. “It took a lot of work and time to build the huge hive and get it to the parade but it paid off.” The PBC won the Fog Fest’s 2015 Most Creative Group Walking Group Award. This is the nonprofit’s second win in a five-year period.

“Volunteering with the PBC connects me with a lot of cool people,” Reed said. “It also gives me college opportunities and cool trips.”

Because of the many hours of service Reed volunteers with the PBC, he was awarded a scholarship to do an educational whale watching trip with a local marine biologist and the Pacific Beach Coalition out to the Farallon Islands.

“Besides whales, we saw sunfish and seals,” the high school sophomore noted.

Since the art students involvement with monthly cleanups at Sharp Park he has noticed positive changes.

“We have been getting less and less trash and cigarette butts, so we have seen some great improvement,” Reed said. “There is still a lot of work to be done with the trash on the beaches, but the load lessens every cleanup.”

“The PBC is a good way to help Pacifica and fill my time,” Reed went on to say. “I think I’ll always find a way to give back to my community.”

Pacifica Tribune correspondent Jean Bartlett can be reached at editor@jeansmagazines.org.