By Hemet Unified School District
In times of uncertainty, people continue to rise to the challenge to meet the needs of not only themselves but those around them. Two students from Western Center Academy have spent the last six months making over 15,000 face shields and 2,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) for various entities in their community and throughout the world!
Zubin Carvalho, 14, and Tenzing Carvalho, 12, started the SoCal Face Shields for Frontline Workers in March with the idea of making a few dozen face shields for friends and family in the medical field when PPE was hard to obtain. They were quickly contacted by other entities and they began to expand their operations. When requests continued to come in, they worked with their principal and assistant principal to use the school’s 3-D printers to keep up with the demand.
The Carvalho brothers utilized their contacts through their robotics team and students from Moreno Valley and Heritage High School began printing shields and schools throughout Hemet Unified School District began lending their 3-D printers to this great cause.
To date, the Carvalho brothers have donated face shields and PPE to health care workers, teachers and staff, postal workers, farmworkers, emergency personnel, volunteers, food and custodial workers, nursing homes, Lideres Campesinas in Coachella and all Riverside County election workers.
Donations have been sent all throughout California, Washington, New Jersey, New York, England, the Philippines and Tanzania. Their efforts have been published through LA Times, Scripps National Network, Press-Enterprise, NBC Palm Springs and Asia News. These features have helped the brothers recruit materials and volunteers to meet their request needs.
In addition to these wonderful recognitions, the Carvalho brothers were asked to speak to the Riverside County Office of Education’s (RCOE) Management Leadership Team during their quarterly meeting. The meeting, which was virtual due to COVID-19, allowed staff to ask the brothers questions about their efforts and gain a better understanding of their process in making these items. For example, they make different shields for medical workers to allow for more room for respirators and goggles.
This particular model of face shields takes between an hour and a half to two hours to complete. RCOE’s director of public relations said that staff that attended the meeting were impressed and encouraged by the Carvalho brothers and the future of the county.