Deer Park High School students begin cleaning up across the district after an EF3 tornado rips through the Pasadena area during severe weather threat

Pasadena, Texas (KTRK) – On a crisp, clear day that could have been used for fun, the students of Deer Park High School made an impact clearing debris in their city, breaking one block at a time.

“We’re just here to help the community clean up,” said young Ava Steiner as she tossed the debris down a human chain.

Related: Shared Disaster Recovery Center opens in Pasadena for residents affected by the historic EF3 tornado

Dozens of students from Deer Park High School’s criminal justice classes volunteered. The district remained closed on Friday, so Coach Mike Burgess encouraged those who could serve.

Some may be police officers in the future.

Burgess said, “I think it instills a sense of ownership in our community, pride. A feeling that we’re supposed to give to others when we have the chance.”

ABC13 met the team at Skateworld on West Pasadena Boulevard, an institution in Deer Park. It has been open for decades and is a place where many memories were made.

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“I grew up here. Lots of birthday parties and get-togethers. So, it has a special place in my heart,” Steiner said.

The tornado tore the roof off, damaged the wooden skating rink, and destroyed the majority of the building. Owner J. Malone, whose parents owned it in the late 70’s and 80’s, promises they will be back.

“It’s going to be a long process. The insurance adjuster finally came through, allowing us to clean up and go through the process and try to rebuild this place,” Mallon said.

Students helped him get one tiny step closer to reopening and showed they cared by giving back.

“This place is my home, and I love it, so I do what I can,” Steiner said affectionately.

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