Group improves Cody High conditions for Arab American Service Day

Nearly 400 volunteers came together at Cody High School and the surrounding neighborhood to help out to celebrate Arab American Service Day.

"I am extremely excited," said Cody High Schools student and volunteer Khiya Ashe. "I go here so obviously I've seen the school at its worst and its best and this is one of its best. I'm super excited and we've been waiting for this moment for a really long time. I've been waiting all year."

The community group Access learned of the conditions inside Cody High and decided to give the area a makeover as part of the 12th Annual Arab American Service Day in 20 cities and across 10 states.

"We heard the story about the drop ceiling tiles falling on the students and we were like, we have to do something about that," said Access community engagement specialist Rachid Elabed.

The group partnered with Home Depot and Lowe's, and found a contractor to fix the ceiling.

"(At) abandoned houses nearby, we cleaned up all the debris -- the tires, the mattresses," Elabed said. "(We're) just doing a whole makeover around here -- around the school."

They worked with Greening of Detroit to make a butterfly garden and a community garden. They also cleaned up the neighborhood around the school, picking up two to 200-300 bags of garbage.

"It touches my heart that we're actually all coming together to help the community and the school," said Access volunteer Molouk Harp.

Another Access volunteer, Khansa Alhaibi, said by going out and cleaning up, they're telling people that the area should be seen as a beautiful place.

"We just need people to take the initiative and help make it a better place," she said.