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Engineering students use their skills to give back to local animal shelters

CCTE students stand in front of a cat playground that they will donate to the Animal Rescue League of El Paso.

The month of February is Career and Technical Education Awareness Month. Across the city of El Paso, hundreds of high school students are involved in trade programs that prepare them for both college and the workforce.

The engineering program at the Center for Career and Technology Education is already doing just that, with a community service project meant to help our four-legged friends.

It started in late December when three students got together to think of their community service project for the new year.

They made some calls and visited the Animal Rescue League of El Paso, where they saw a void that needed to be filled, they said.

"When we first went into the Animal Rescue League, they had a motor home stationed and what I saw is they only had a place where they housed kittens. It was made out of wood and it was high for little babies but, besides that, they only had chairs and toys that probably don't work anymore and that is why we came up with the idea with something more usable and recyclable so that they can use for the future," said CCTE senior MariJose Hurtado.

In total, the group has built nine structures, in what it said was a collaborative effort with other programs throughout the school.

"A lot of the things that were donated to the organization was from a lot of the other programs across campus. We had plumbing come in and donate PVC and connectors. We had electrical trades coming in and giving us all of the different tools that we needed. The construction trades donated the space to us so we could actually build," said CCTE engineering teacher Lisa Alvarado.

The projects include a cat tower, a litter station, toys for overactive dogs and a birthing station.

Along with donating to the Animal Rescue League, the group is also donating some of the structures to Mutt Love Dog Rescue.

The structures have been completed and the group said it will deliver them to both organizations on Feb. 10.

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