WA riveted by jeans drive

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Jenna posing with some of her donated jeans

By Craig Brinkerhoff
Copy Editor

This time of year, seniors have become regulars in the guidance office, checking in on college applications and worrying about how to pay for college.

Westford senior Jenna Bencivenga has found a way to combine her college desires with padding her pockets and curbing the collegiate financial woes.

“I found Teens for Jeans, and I really felt it connected with me.  It’s an organization that you can donate jeans for any age, any size, and they’ll donate it,” said Bencivenga.

Teens For Jeans is a scholarship program ran through dosomething.org, the “largest not-for-profit for young people and social change” in the country.  They sponsor campaigns that run the full gamut, from homelessness to cancer to animal cruelty.

Technically, Bencivenga is already in the running for the scholarship, which is $5,000.

“I was searching for a scholarship, but really I did this because the amount of jeans doesn’t really effect the amount of money,” said Bencivenga.  The amount of jeans does affect what type of grants the school could get, however.

The top high school taking part in the competition wins a $5,000 grant for their school, and the top school overall wins $10,000 dollars for their school.  While the scholarship is from Do Something, the grant money comes from Aeropostale, the clothing store that is sponsoring drop off locations for jeans.

Earlier this fall, Bencivenga distributed three boxes around the school, located in the senior lobby, bell lobby, and guidance office.  Every week, she checks up on them, and come February 14th, she will drop off her collection at the aforementioned Aeropostale.  It is then the store’s job to distribute the jeans to homeless shelters around the U.S. and Canada.

Furthermore, she has talked with Principal Jim Antonelli and is now approved to put up advertising flyers and the banner she just ordered from Do Something.

“I really connected with this because jeans are the number one most asked for clothing item in homeless shelters, and that’s because they are so popular, you can wear them with anything.  Not only is it helping people have something to keep warm, but it is also helping people feel like they fit in.  I feel like everyone deserves to feel that way,” said Bencivenga.