High school senior Bridget Stuebner poses for a photo with a Starlight Elementary kindergarten student and their new shoes. 

Mountain View High School senior Bridget Stuebner spent the morning of Dec. 18 at Starlight Elementary School in Watsonville, providing each kindergartner in the low-income district with a new pair of Vans shoes.

Stuebner, a member of the National Charity League, won an award from the organization, enabling her to kick-start her shoe distribution project. The NCL’s Class of 2026 also sponsored a bake sale fundraiser in downtown Los Altos, raising a significant amount of money to purchase the shoes. Other NCL members contributed by writing cards to the children, while members’ mothers wrapped the shoes.

Working closely with Starlight’s principal Jackie Medina, Stuebner gathered the shoe sizes of all 80 Starlight kindergartners. Shoes That Fit, another nonprofit organization Stuebner collaborated with, helped streamline the purchasing process by ensuring they ordered the correct colors and sizes.

Some Starlight Elementary parents picked up their children’s shoes via a drive-thru setup at the school, while others walked in to collect them in person.

“It was really great,” Stuebner said. “I could see the smiles on the kids’ faces. They were really, really excited when I gave them their present … and they were just really, really happy to have gotten a new pair of shoes, so that was really sweet to watch.”


Staff Writer

Angela Tam covers local schools as the Town Crier's education reporter.