Escaping the Ashburn Bubble

English Teacher Eugene Legg leads students to help DC homeless

Bianca Alvarez, Staff Writer

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Eugene Legg

RRHS and BWHS went to Washington D.C on October 22nd to help the give food to the homeless. Sophomore Carly Hensley leads The Rock Serves, joining forces with students led by Olivia Bissett. “We have that allegiance and that allegiance is gonna lend itself to other allegiances so those kids are gonna bond and that’s what’s gonna do it. It's not gonna be anything I do it's gonna be what they do,” club sponsor for both schools Eugene Legg said.

Classroom 1610 is filled with chatty sophomores and seniors asking English teacher Eugene Legg to read over their college essays.

“Do I need to watch what I say?” Legg said after I asked if I could record the interview.

With the same sense of humor, Legg pulls out a toy microphone before answering my question.

 Legg shares how he was born on a farm in Leesburg but grew up in Bethesda Maryland and attended private school before going to college.

“Like most little private school boys I was oblivious to poverty,” Legg said.

Since creating a club that involves the student body, I questioned Legg about his participation in any extracurricular activities.

“In high school?”

“Yes.”

“I was an athlete, I was a three sport athlete, and I was a singer, and I was an actor, and I was a total self aggrandised, self important piece of garbage, I was all this and all that.”

Legg told me when he was growing up in his community nothing similar to The Rock Serves was around.  During his teaching career at BWHS, Legg joined Joan Allen and Colonel Nate Allen and their church group in helping the homeless in the downtown area.

“I realized that we needed to get out of our comfort zone and do something for someone else,” Legg said.

The Rock Serves focuses on high school students making a difference in the lives of others, which helps students push their boundaries.

“Somehow we’ve managed to create this little cushion in Brambleton and Broadlands so it’s  good to help everyone realize that there’s a bigger world out there,” said Legg, ”there’s nothing comfortable about this world”

Creating a club which gets young students to worry about others instead of themselves, is rewarding to not only Legg, but also to the parents of the volunteers.

“We’ve probably have had four moms and two dads go with us. They can see there kids do something other than perform in a band or perform on the field or get a grade in a classroom, they get to see real interaction among people and they make their parents so proud,” Legg said.

Legg believes The Rock Serves is not just about serving the community, but also creating real life experiences.

“I want the ones who want to stay [in DC] to stay there. We had a bunch of kids come back on the metro because they’ve never been on the metro before, we had a bunch of kids go to the African American exhibit because they paid money for it and wanted to go see it, I mean how cool is that?” Legg said.

Being sponsor of two clubs can be stressful. When I asked about the challenges he faces, Legg begins to chuckle.  

“The biggest challenge is I spent two weeks, longer than that four weeks working with the administration building to give us permission to let the kids drive down there and not make it an official field trip with a bus,” Legg said.

By the end of the school year, Legg hopes to have every school in Loudoun County take part in helping the homeless in the Loudoun and Washington, D.C. area. Now how does he hope to accomplish that?

“I’m so charismatic. I’m just gonna attract everybody and they’re gonna wanna be with me,” jokes Legg, “No its these guys that do it, I mean Carly (Hensley) and Olivia Bissett at Briar Woods who never knew each other other than distant acquaintances before, have become really close in a really powerful way, so we have that allegiance and that allegiance is gonna lend itself to other allegiances so those kids are gonna bond and that’s whats going do it. It’s not going be anything I do it’s going to be what they do.” 

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Escaping the Ashburn Bubble