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MHS students collecting jeans for homeless
Manteca High School activity director and Leadership Class teacher Stephanie Hjelmstad, pictured at extreme left, and 12 of her students involved in the Teens for Jeans drive: ASB president Sammie Morris, Gabby Vazquez, Ashley Gase, Beth Aschenbrenner, Jason Laughlin, Taylor Teixeira, Kelly Kennedy, Marcus Montano, Jasmine ODell, Billy Sharmoug, Elijah Aragon, and Adriel Sarmiento. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Don’t throw those old jeans away! Donate them instead and help make a difference in the lives of homeless teen-agers.

That’s the plea from the Leadership Class students at Manteca High. They are currently conducting a “jeans drive” – the project is officially called Teens for Jeans – as part of’s effort “to combat homelessness,” in partnership with Aeropostale stores. Donations may be dropped off in the front office at Manteca High between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

“We are accepting any and all jeans, in every shape, size, and design – new or used,” for both girls and boys, said Leadership Class advisor Stephanie Hjelmstad.

This is the first time the school has participated in this project aimed at helping the estimated 1.7 million homeless teens in the U.S. today.

“The Leadership Class does at least one Community Service Project each academic quarter, and we were already planning on doing the Pennies for Patients Drive through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society the month of February, but the class voted to do the Jeans Drive as well because they thought it was a great cause and that they would get a lot of donations,” Hjelmstad explained.

So far, the 34 students in the class have collected about 250 pairs which mainly came from teachers and students on campus. But Hjelmstad said they are hoping to see that number go even higher with the help of generous individuals in the community.

All donations collected by the class will need to be dropped off by February 10 at the Aeropostale Store in Stockton which contacted Hjemstad and her Leadership Class asking if they could take part in the drive this year. As an incentive, each person who participates can “take 25 percent off a new pair for each donated pair” at the store.’s Teens for Jeans drive has collected 2.5 million pairs of jeans since the project was launched in 2007.

All jeans collected will be donated to a local charity or shelter in the community where the participants reside.

For more information about Teens for Jeans, visit

Manteca High School is located at 450 East Yosemite Avenue between South Garfield and Sherman avenues, telephone (209) 858-7340.