By Dillon Thomas

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A faith-based organization of college students in Colorado teamed up with teenagers from Brady High School on Thursday to encourage community service among youth.

ASEZ, standing for “Saving the Earth, A-to-Z,” promotes sacrificial lifestyles, that can benefit the community.

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(credit: CBS)

Students from local colleges and Brady spent Thursday morning raking leaves from the school campus and the surrounding neighborhood. They also picked up trash and other items left along the roadways.

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“With university students, and high school students in general, the volunteer rate is very low,” said David Saun, a volunteer with ASEZ.

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David Saun (credit: CBS)

By teaming up with the teenagers, ASEZ volunteers hoped to spark an enthusiasm for community service in the young students.

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“This is where we are living. This is where we are going to be growing up. It is good to maintain the healthy environment for everyone to live in,” Saun said.

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“We must come to understand why we should give back to the community, because that is where we are going to be living,” said Adrina Gonzales, a senior at Brady High School.

Gonzales was just one of many students who participated in the service day. They were excused from their morning classes in order to clean up the campus.

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Adrina Gonzales (credit: CBS)

Gonzales said she was impressed with how many students helped, “With more helping hands, we can do more.”

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ASEZ volunteer Acuarius Barreto said she recently came to cherish volunteering and giving to others.

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Acuarius Barreto (credit: CBS)

“I would normally not have a mind to do volunteer work,” Barreto said.

Barreto said she hoped her story, and the work of her fellow volunteers, would encourage the young students to give back continuously to their community.

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“Once they sacrifice themselves, and see how much effort it takes to clean up after themselves, through that they won’t want to litter, and they will inspire their friends not to litter,” Barreto said.

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Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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