Our Voice: We’re thankful for transformations that enhance our community

Transformation happens in a variety of ways in our community: Reaching out to others, reaching within ourselves and reaching higher to accomplish goals.

We’re thankful for changes that enhance our lives, and equally, our world.

Tri-Cities Prep

Grow a garden and it can grow a student — even more than one. That’s what a Tri-Cities Prep senior project has done for Ali Jacobs and numerous students who lent a hand to tend her garden on the Catholic high school’s campus.

Even though each senior who participated is required to complete their own senior project for graduation, many pitched in to plant, weed, water and harvest the bounty.

A goal of senior projects is to transform a student, bring awareness to needs that exist.

All the fresh produce — more than 1,000 pounds — was donated to the Tri-Cities Food Bank in Richland.

Through this gardening effort, Ali and other classmates grew a little wiser about hunger in our area when they reached out to give.

Gesa Carousel of Dreams

There’s a bit of transformation that happens when the Gesa Carousel of Dreams begins to spin.

Old become young again and a heavy heart may soar while its riders thrill to the merry-go-round experience.

Now, after one year at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex, the Kennewick ride is almost debt-free.

It cost about $4 million, with donors large and small pitching in. Of the $354,000 borrowed to finish the building, $75,000 is left to pay off. And Three Rivers Carousel Foundation officials expect that to happen by the end of the year.

We’re grateful for the volunteers and a dream that can put a positive spin on anyone’s day.

Kamiakin High School Duchess

A beautiful thing happened at Kamiakin High School last week.

Jamie Jimenez, 19, became a 2015 Homecoming duchess.

But for this young woman with Down syndrome who attends the school’s Life Skills classes, the expense for a dress and amenities loomed large for her family.

Then something even lovelier happened when an anonymous donor reached out to pay for her dress and others gifted her with a makeover, a corsage, tiara and photo package.

We’re thankful to see this outpouring of kindness, one that transformed a teen’s evening.


To be an American, to have a new country, is a dream reached by 50 immigrants in our area who became U.S. citizens last week.

The new citizens representing 14 countries, and experiencing a cultural change, were part of a ceremony during a nationwide celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

The pathway to become an American may seem difficult, maneuvering paperwork in a new culture, but determination to complete the process proved successful as they took their oath.

We are thankful for these new Americans who will contribute a wealth of ideas, knowledge and experience to their new country.