By Jeff Todd

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A group of high school students is reveling in a class that is helping them do good things in the community, but it’s also a new path toward graduation. It offers students more options when it comes to getting that diploma.

(credit: Thornton Police)

“We feel good about ourselves, we feel good we’re doing something for the community,” said Horizon High School Sophomore Blake Auld.

(credit: CBS)

Three other students teamed up with Auld to work on projects around the community. They’ve delivered Easter wreaths to a Senior Center, helped families in need, and gathered nearly 100 stuffed animals for the Thornton Police Department’s Victim Services.

(credit: Sandy Auld)

“I think it helps me prepare for life,” Auld said.

(credit: CBS)

Blake and about 80 other students are working on capstone projects as part of changing state regulations around graduation.

(credit: Sandy Auld)

Blake relies on alternative learning because he struggles in school doe to Bipolar Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Instead of basing his future on standardized tests, his hands-on capstone projects are helping him thrive.

Sandy Auld (credit: CBS)

“In responsibility, in maturity, in time management, and communication, all of those things it has been noticeable,” said Blake’s mom Sandy. “Any opportunity for him to demonstrate what he knows because he doesn’t learn like other children, school has always been a struggle.”

(credit: CBS)

Blake was responsible for gathering donations from stores in the community and even speaking in front of the Adams 12 School Board. Situations he wasn’t comfortable in before.

“It made a really big impact on me, it’s been a really fun experience on how to do this a lot,” said Blake.

(credit: Sandy Auld)

Sandy, as any mother would, proudly posted to Facebook about the donation to the police department. That’s when she was able to see the impact ripple through the community.

(credit: CBS)

“I had several people approach me and say this is a wonderful thing Blake’s Group has done. ‘My child received a bear at an accident,’” Sandy said. “They were meaningful in their life, so to know Blake and this wonderful group of kids are supporting that and making meaningful differences, I just think is amazing and wonderful. And we as his parents just could not be more proud.”

Jeff Todd


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