Gina's People: Helping Daily Workers

(FOX 11) In affluent Laguna Beach, on highway 133, there is a Day Laborer site. Along with the men looking for jobs, is 16-year-old Shira Alcouloumre. She teaches ESL classes to the workers. She says it's practical English they can use on the job. She's been helping since she was in the 6th grade.

"It makes you feel more human," Shira said. "You get a stronger sense of compassion when you're with these guys."

Shira and her brother Aaron used to take water to the workers. But they didn't like the littering left behind. So with the blessing of the City of Laguna Beach, they raised enough money to buy a water fountain and with the skills of the workers, it was installed. They also installed an awning to protect from the harsh sun or rain. The workers say they are grateful for their kindness.

Recently, Shira was named one of the winners of the Helen Diller Teen Award for her wonderful community service. In August, she'll be receiving a $36,000 dollar award. Her plans for all that cash?

"Hopefully, our next step here is to build a classroom on the site and bring in real ESL teachers to take over after I graduate," said Shira.

Shira hopes to one day work for Unicef or Amnesty International where she can continue to help people all over the world.

If you would like to know more about the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award, visit the website at

Gina's People: We want to hear from you!

Gina has seen her share of people throughout Southern California - real characters with real stories many making a difference each day with little to no recognition. These are Gina's People, hometown heroes who quietly go about making Southern California and the world a better place for all of us.

If you know a person or a group who deserves some recognition, please fill out this form which goes directly to Gina.

Help her tell the stories of the people and groups who make a big difference each day.

Copyright 2015 FOX 11 Los Angeles | Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and YouTube .