During the first week of summer vacation, 29 Marian Catholic High School upcoming-senior students, along with 14 adult chaperones, worked in partnership with Christian Outreach to Appalachia People in volunteering their time and efforts to assist others.
These energetic Marian Catholic volunteers spent the week in Harlan, Ky., helping the community by landscaping, rebuilding and painting houses, and demolishing unsafe buildings.
Working in the heat and humidity of Harlan, these hard-working student-volunteers shingled a roof, tacked up insulation, and landscaped the grounds of a newly built house, accomplishing much during their busy week. While working in Harlan, these students also had the opportunity to visit with families, hearing their stories and learning about Appalachian culture and history.
As Danielle Sovereign, a Marian Catholic senior and resident of Chicago Heights, Ill., recalls, “The biggest takeaway I got from the trip was learning the importance of teamwork. It took every person to get the job done efficiently. This was my first experience building something, working on a roof, and handling power-tools. This service trip showed me that I could successfully overcome my fears by pushing my physical and mental limits. My favorite part of the trip was working with each other and putting our personal needs aside so we could help others.”
Linda Savick, annual trip supervisor and Marian Catholic teacher, expresses the student’s enthusiasm.
“Students adjusted beautifully and did any job willingly and with enthusiasm,” Savick said. “Many of the students shared that this was the best thing they had ever done. Everyone was so positive and enriched by the experience.”
Sister Dorothy Marie Solak, O.P., service director at Marian Catholic, considers this volunteering opportunity a transforming experience. Students walk away with a sense of empowerment, knowing they have the ability to make a positive change in the world.
The following students attended this year's service trip to Appalachia; Allison Arvia (Thornton), Phil Block (Schererville), Hannah Bohlen (Homewood), Melanie Craft (Crete), Celeste Friel (Crete), Courtney Fuhrman (Schererville), Mary Hardig (Schererville), Caitlin Henry (Lansing), Laura Hilger (Oak Forest), Alex Keane (Chicago Heights), Isabelle Keating (Flossmoor), David Klein (Frankfort), Alyssa Lorenzo (Thornton) , Padraic McSwiggan (Lansing), Theresa Milazzo (Matteson), Cristin Milliner (Richton Park), Shannon Mulholland (Flossmoor), Sarah Murzyn (Schererville), Alexa Nelson (Tinley Park), Cooper Packard (Lansing), Rachel Piacentini (Steger), Patrick Murday (Frankfort), Sam Roche (Chicago Heights), Sophia Sesto (Chicago Heights), Katie Spear (Mokena), Danielle Sovereign (Chicago Heights), Jacqueline Surd (Lansing), Kyllah Thompson (Richton Park), and Aimee Tiberi (Chicago Heights).
For further information about Marian Catholic’s partnership with Christian Outreach to Appalachia People and the service trip, contact the public relations manager, Allison Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (708) 756-9770.