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April 12, 2011 > Project ME raises "green" funds for MSJHS

Project ME raises "green" funds for MSJHS

By Alekya Rajanala
Photos By Pulak Goyal

Project Mission Education is a club at Mission San Jose High School (MSJHS) devoted to raising funds to lessen the effects of the budget cuts at the school. Also known as Project ME, this club has three separate programs; its members fundraise in a not-so-typical fashion.

Project ME is affiliated with Sirona Cares for Schools, the nonprofit sister company of Sirona Fuels, which recycles used cooking oil to produce environmentally-friendly biofuels. Project ME's job is to convince local restaurants to donate their used cooking oil to Sirona Cares for Schools. Sirona gives MSJHS 53 cents for each gallon of oil donated; the used cooking oil is picked up from registered restaurants at zero cost.

Another Project ME program is through the family oil company Salinas Tallow, which works in a similar manner. Restaurants already affiliated with Salinas Tallow can simply ask the company to donate a portion of their profits to Project ME.

Mission Positive, Project ME's newest development, partners with Exide Corporation to collect used car batteries, and delivers them for recycling. For each car battery collected and then recycled, Exide donates $8.75 directly to MSJHS. Automotive repair shops, car dealerships, and individuals are all eligible to donate.

A grant application for MSJHS students, parents, alumni, teachers, and school clubs interested in using the funds to "enhance the educational environment at MSJHS" has been released and can be found at www.msjprojectme.com.

Project ME founder and MSJHS student Pulak Goyal is optimistic about the club's future. He says, "I think Project ME has the potential to make a great impact at MSJHS. We've gotten off to a strong start this first year, and I am hoping the club will continue to expand in the coming years as well. Our primary goal is for the money distributed through the grants to be utilized to have a positive effect on the education of MSJHS students."

Restaurants interested in helping MSJHS should visit www.msjprojectme.com for more information on how to register with Project ME to donate used cooking oil. Used car batteries can be dropped off at 47610 Kato Road in Fremont, or contact Project ME at projectmissioneducation@gmail.com for details.

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