Raiders Go Green

By Alicia Longo

January 27, 2022

The ECO-Raiders or “Environmentally Conscientious Opportunistic RAIDERS” is a club founded at St. Thomas Aquinas Highschool by Drake Speno and Juliana Castro in the 2019-2020 school year. However, because of COVID-19 the launch was delayed until the 2020-2021 school year. Since then, the club’s mission statement has been to “lead innovative concepts to further educate the school and community about ecological improvements through competition, workshops and community outreach.”

A few of the ECO-Raiders, featuring their president on the far left, with their sleeping mats made of fully recycled materials.

According to Drake Speno, the president of the ECO-Raiders, by expanding STA’s horizon on environmental awareness, the ECO-Raiders aim to educate the student body and create environmental projects for both the school and the community. An example of this is their current service project: weaving sleeping mats out of plastic bags to give to the homeless. The ECO-Raiders receive help from an organization called Showering Love to actively distribute the mats to the homeless. Last year, a total of 24,000 plastic bags were recycled into mats through the ECO-Raiders. The STA student body can also help by making donations of plastic bags to a collector. Club president Drake Speno says, “I have really gotten to try new things with the club because it is brand new at STA and I have the creative freedom to see what is best for the club to do for the students and the community.”

Photo Credit: Drake Speno