News Post

Students Perform Service in Belize

A group of 11 St. Joseph’s Academy students spent the last week of May performing community service in Belize. The students built a 16x20-foot house and planned a blessing, along with the family who will live in it, of the new home. 

The students were accompanied by SJA art teacher Nicole Lane and counselor Lindsay Carlino. “I hope the girls gained a sense of accomplishment knowing that they built a home from the ground up,” Lane said. “The girls made such a positive impact on a family that they just met. I also hope they gained a better understanding and compassion for people facing difficult circumstances.” 

Rising senior Sara Pasquier said the trip provided a meaningful way to serve a family in need. “It was very hard work, but it was very rewarding,” she said. “When we handed over the keys, it all paid off in the end.”

Carlino said the new home built by the students will provide a safe place for the homeowner to once again host family holiday celebrations and allow her grandson to visit on weekends. “It was a blessing for us to work as a team to carry out the mission of the Sisters of serving the dear neighbor,” Carlino said. “I hope that the girls carry that mission back with them and begin volunteering with those in need in our greater Baton Rouge community.”

Rising junior Mary Virginia Richards said the family who was served consisted of a single mother and five children. “I enjoyed being able to talk to the future homeowner,” she said. “What made the trip meaningful was being able to see the lady’s face light up when her house was finished.” 

The travelers also enjoyed Sunday mass at St. Martin de Porres Church, visiting a combination preschool and daycare facility and day trips to the Altun Ha Mayan Temples and Caye Caulker Island. They also enjoyed the opportunity to see a performance of the Garifuna Dancers.

Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Communications Director