The month of October has brought about some of the most devastating wildfires documented in California state history. In addition to the thousands of civilians now displaced, many Vanguard students were significantly impacted by these horrible natural disasters.
Junior Jordyn Molina’s hometown has been affected by the fires roaring through Napa Valley. Although her family can consider themselves lucky, others were not so fortunate. Hundreds of people she went to high school with are now homeless. A majority of the surrounding community, including her high school, have been reduced to nothing but rubble.
“I’m heartbroken and I feel so helpless being here and not helping… My high school and my hometown are completely gone and my past 18 years of living there just got taken away too quickly,” Molina said.
The same is true for sophomore Stacy Acevedo. She was impacted by the fires that took place in Anaheim Hills. Most of her family members live in this area and she was devastated by the loss taking place throughout her community. With her house so close to the fires, the majority of her family was forced to evacuate.
“It’s sad to see people you know go through life situations like that, especially those who have lived in the area for so long“, said Acevedo.
Students were not the only ones afflicted by the California wildfires. Many faculty members here on campus were also heavily affected.
Dr. Alison English, a Communication professor, was unable to get back home after a mandatory evacuation was announced. When she was able to return back home a few days later, she found that although her condominium complex was still standing, many of the areas surrounding had been diminished to nothing.
After realizing that the only things inside were replaceable material items, she accepted the fact that there was nothing that she could do to save her condo. Although no one knew the outcome while the fire was going on, English had faith that her condo would remain safe.
“I had this great peace come over me on Monday and just decided not to worry. And I didn’t. God is good,” said English.
Throughout this experience, English learned a lot about both herself and those around her. With acquaintances, coworkers, and friends offering shelter during her time in need, she realized how many people truly care for her. She also realized that the majority of the things she keeps in her home are just taking up space, and plans to get rid of unneeded items throughout the next year.