As flames of fury surrounded Milken, burning down residential land and causing terror within local communities, the Milken community stuck together, helping one another get through this difficult time. While Mr. Gary Weisserman has been sending out updates regarding classes, he also emphasizes that safety must come first. Weisserman states in his email: “If your family is in need of assistance, please contact me directly by replying to this message.” Everyone in Los Angeles County is very vulnerable to the danger of the fire and Mr. Weisserman’s message exhibits an understanding of this shared vulnerability. When members of a community pull together for a united cause, power becomes unlimited. Mr. Nathan Humphreys, Director of Operations and Campus Safety, and his operations team have been working extremely hard to ensure that the campus stays safe during this dangerous time. It is very important to recognize the people who put their lives at risk to help keep the Milken campus safe.
Many members of the Milken community have been directly affected by these fires, including students and faculty. Megan Shirian ‘20, who lives extremely close to campus, woke up early Wednesday morning to screams of terror from her family members. She quickly packed a small bag of her most valued possessions and prepared for immediate evacuation. She revealed, “You never really know how it feels until it happens to you.” Fortunately, Shirian did not end up having to evacuate her home and instead many of her family members who were forced to leave came to her house looking for a safe haven. Shirian and her family continue to pray that they will not have to evacuate their home, but remain prepared to do so.
On Wednesday afternoon, Milken history teacher, Ms. Laura Sanders-Masset made a heartbreaking appearance on the KCAL 9 news station. Sanders-Masset had lived in her Shadow Hills childhood home since the fifth grade. However, it was tragically turned into just ashes and rubble when the Creek Fire destroyed it. Sanders-Masset is a beloved member of the Milken community and many of her students who recognized her on television were heartbroken. Her very own student, Natalie Sarshar ‘20, has opened up about her feelings towards this tragic scenario: “It’s so devastating to think that someone has grown up in a home their whole life and then all of a sudden watches that home literally being burned to ashes.” Many students have been reaching out to their beloved teacher, sending her prayers, and sending her their support.
Although the fires are extremely frightening, the silver lining of tragic events is that they can often inspire kindness. These heartbreaking events are very difficult to overcome, but by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity, the community develops courage and compassion. The desire to stand together and support one another in times of struggle is something at which the Milken community has demonstrated great strength.