Modesto Students Carry On Late Teacher’s Home-Building Mission

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MODESTO -- Some Modesto students are just returning from a home-building mission in Mexico -- a dream shared with them by their teacher and one they pledged to carry out after her death.

The skeleton of a house may look to you as simply that, but Trish Stoops saw a math lesson, a civics lesson and a lesson in compassion.

It was her dream for her students from Glick Middle School to learn those lessons this summer through a service group she helped create.

Despite being an expert climber, Stoops fell from a cliff to her death in Yosemite last month.

After that, members of what's now called Hope Ignited Stanislaus kept organizing a trip she'd planned to Tijuana.

As of today, with the help of her students and Amor Ministries, the Nunez family has a roof over their head.

Those who loved Ms. Stoops appreciate the vision she left them.

"I think the biggest thing I've learned from her is probably to definitely help others no matter where they're from or what they do or what they have done in their past, no matter what, to help them and to support them through what they're going through," said Joanna Olney.

"She was a positive person. She never gave up. She liked helping others and what I'm doing right now some of it is because of her," said Emmanuel Molina.

City services like sewage and electricity do not extend to the part of Tijuana the students worked in, but the Nunez family has their first home with permanent walls.

Hope Ignited Stanislaus plans to continue the work inspired by Stoops and her friend and fellow teacher Jamey Johnson Olyney.

Dealing with Stoops' death delayed the group's fundraising efforts for the Tijuana trip.

Members still need to raise $1,950 to cover building materials and travel expenses provided on the front end by Amor Ministries.

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