The students in Janet Castanos's high school class have been learning a valuable lesson in perseverance.
Fifteen students in her Helix Charter High School Academy internship program were doing a neighborhood street audit along University Avenue when they noticed a broken utility box with wires sticking out partially blocking the sidewalk.
"It was ugly and dangerous," said Janet Castanos. So her class decided to make a difference and have it fixed.
"We want our community to look nice," said student Kaitlin Sitta.
After contacting La Mesa city officials, the class discovered that the box was owned by AT&T. When they contacted the cable/phone giant the class was not happy with the results.
"We wanted the best," said Sitta, "But we didn't get that at first."
AT&T simply wrapped the box in black plastic and held it together with tape.
"We just thought that they were being disrespectful towards us by just trying to get by with putting a plastic bag over it," said Castanos.
The class complained again but this time the plastic was replaced with a much older box with graffiti like markings painted on the sidewalk.
"They weren't putting enough effort into it," said Sitta.
This time the class contacted NBC 7 Responds and Consumer Bob. We told them their situation was "crazy" and encouraged them to keep fighting. We also asked for the students to keep us up on their progress.
The teacher said that was enough to give them confidence to try again.
"The next time we called the threat was, well Consumer Bob knows about this and Channel 7 is going to hear and you don't want this on Channel 7 News," said Castanos.
Shortly after that message, AT&T installed a brand new box and cleaned the writing off the sidewalk. The teacher and class said the fight was worth it, and told NBC 7 Responds:
"You made a difference just because your comment to us to keep fighting and see that justice is served," said Castanos.
High school junior Kaitlin Sitta says they all learned a valuable lesson, "that little things make a big difference."