Carson High School senior makes supporting classmates and kids a priority
Funds needed for CHS SAGE charity drive
The Student Advocates of Gender Equality of Carson High School is seeking donations to help kids experiencing transitions.
The goal is to reach $500 through the fundraiser page at gofundme.com/SAGECHS.
Recently, Carson High School senior Tobi Arreola was crowned as 2017 Homecoming King, while his close friend, Hannah Golik, was crowned Homecoming Queen.
“I didn’t think I was going to be nominated,” Arreola said. “There’s a lot more diversity and openness at the school compared to years before.”
With that, Arreola is on a mission to broaden horizons among his classmates before he graduates in June: to help lead the Blue Thunder Marching Band, promote gender equality, and support underclassmen experiencing transitions, as Arreola went through the same process.
“There are kids coming out at an early age,” he said. “Many think kids are too young to know what to feel, but I knew when I was in middle school. We’re trying to balance the spectrum.”
Arreola is one of the few seniors in charge as a drum major for the high school’s marching band, which has reached its highest enrollment ever, and is helping conduct almost 100 musicians on top of being a member of the National Honor Society.
While pursuing credits at Western Nevada College for auto tech collision and repair, Arreola also serves as president in Student Advocates of Gender Equality (SAGE) with about 20 students who participate. He’s also involved helping a classmate startup a charity called “Clothes In Clothes Out,” focused on donating clothing to the LGBT youth in the region.
“I’m not transgender, I’m human,” he said. “I didn’t get crowned as homecoming king for that. As long as you’re helping others, that’s what needs to be glorified.”
SAGE launched last year at CHS and is open to all students looking to support gender equality and education, along with opportunities to donate school supplies and other materials to kids who may be experiencing gender identities.
Currently, the group is on a mission to raise at least $500 for items to donate, through a GoFund Me page.
“It’s a safe place to go throughout the week to help with transitioning,” he said. “There’s a community of people at the school, there isn’t just one person.”
Bridget Gordon Johnson, 21st Century Solutions Program coordinator at Carson High School, also oversees the SAGE program. She said Arreola has made an impact to students.
“Tobi is such an incredible student leader,” she said. “He is passionate, intelligent and kind.”
Once he finishes his courses at WNC and graduates from CHS, Arreola hopes to attend the University of Oregon to study women and gender studies, and political science.