RUMFORD – When Mollie Kaubrys ran for Student Council president last month, her platform included a plank that called for the organization to sponsor more activities than just dances.

The senior from Rumford wanted the students at Mountain Valley High School to make a difference in the appearance of their school.

On Friday, her idea went full throttle as her campaign promise was fulfilled. The school’s nearly 600 students took part in Make A Difference Day, the day before the National Make A Difference Day. Some painted the bathrooms, others planted trees and flower bulbs, a few dusted and cleaned, others swept the driveway, and some created new art on the school’s corridor walls.

Kaubrys plans to attend American University next year studying international relations, taking part in politics, and perhaps serving as an ambassador someday or running for public office.

She believes individuals can make a difference and gets frustrated when young people can’t wait to turn 18 so they can gamble or buy cigarettes, instead of being thankful they can vote.

“This is a democracy. I can make a difference. Anyone can run. It’s a great thing we have, this freedom,” she said.

Her activism and belief that anyone can make a difference in their world carried over to the Make A Difference Day at the high school. She and Student Council secretary Taylor Smith, along with other council members, brainstormed to come up with ideas so that every student would have a job. Money came from admission fees to the homecoming dance last month and donations from businesses.

Advisor Carrie Youcis, a social studies teacher, helped coordinate the event. She was the teacher who, with a group of Mountain Valley students, traveled to New Orleans earlier in the year to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

Travis Durgin, a senior, decided to take part in repainting the girls’ bathroom. Cans of hot pink, light blue, purple and lime green paint were popped open by students and teacher advisors as brushes were whipped out to paint each of the stall doors a different shade and brighten trim and window frames.

“This is the only time we’re legally allowed in the girls’ bathroom,” Durgin quipped. “It’s good for our school because it gets students to help out.”

Both boys and girls were also painting the adjacent boys’ bathroom, with shades of green. Outside, dozens of were sweeping the driveway, digging holes and planting trees, bushes and bulbs.

Kendall Boudreau, a sophomore, was intent on digging a hole large enough for planting a rhododendron. “Is this big enough?” he asked a nearby educational technician. It was, and in the plant went.

Near the front of the school, sophomore Audrey Morin was planting yellow tulips. In the back, freshmen Lauren White and Angela Cahill were sprucing up the area next to the foundation by planting daffodils.

Principal Matt Gilbert was pleased to see the intensity of the students.

“It such a positive project,” he said.

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