THORNTON, Colo. — A high school senior in Thornton is on a mission to create a library for his school.
A famous doctor once said, "The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Anthony Henriquez is committed to giving kids the chance to go more places.
Anthony, 17, is a senior at Pinnacle Charter School in Thornton. The high school doesn't have a library, so Anthony is on a mission to fix that.
"It really is so important. You can't do anything without reading. And so a school without a library? That doesn't make sense because we're here to learn," said Anthony.
For his senior project, Anthony is raising money and collecting donated books to turn an underused school meeting room into a proper library for the 400 high schoolers at Pinnacle.
Anthony's passion for reading started from a nontraditional place. He couldn't read until he reached sixth or seventh grade.
"There was a point when I was 12 and 13 that I could barely spell my name," Anthony said.
Philip Emma, a middle school English teacher, was that one special teacher who noticed Anthony couldn't read. Emma took Anthony under his wing and showed him the fun and importance of books. By the end of middle school, Anthony was in love with reading.
Today, Emma is an assistant principal and Anthony is building a library.
“I got kinda choked up when I saw that it was him out of all the students that was doing it, that it was Anthony that was doing it," said Emma.
Books are now at the core of who Anthony is. He reads everything from Kafka to comics.
"But now, I have such a vast vocabulary and reading skill because I read every day. And it's helped me, so I think it's going to help a lot of students like me," said Anthony.
After he graduates in the spring, Anthony will attend Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he plans to become an elementary art teacher. With some luck, he hopes to have the library in place by the time he graduates from Pinnacle.
To go from illiteracy to library-builder to college in five or six years, there is little doubt Anthony is going places.
The school said $10,000 should be enough to get the library up and running. The school needs to pay for shelves, books and a librarian.
To donate to the library, visit this link or scan the QR code below.
Books and checks can be mailed to the school at:
Pinnacle Charter School
1001 W 84th Avenue
Federal Heights, CO, 80206