Lowell Catholic Lends a Helping Hand in the Dominican Republic
Lowell Catholic’s ongoing mission to help students excel, prepare, and live extends far beyond the walls of the classrooms on Steven’s Street. Juniors and seniors recently had the opportunity to participate in one of many global learning immersion trips that the school offers. This year students and faculty traveled to the Dominican Republic for the opportunity to listen, learn and develop a deeper understanding of the needs of local families while living alongside the community members of the Cangrejo neighborhood.
In preparation for the trip, Lowell Catholic students ran a fundraiser to cover the costs of food for the children of the Hogar Immanuel Orphanage for one month. This was a need identified by the staff of Hogar Immanuel and LC gladly accepted and met the challenge by raising nearly $3000. Students and staff were grateful for the donations and for being able to not only contribute to the orphanage but also stimulate the local economy.
While being truly immersed in the culture, students communicated in Spanish while giving back to the local community. In addition to volunteering time and resources to the Orphanage, they also worked harvesting corn and yucca, painted and cleaned a local park, and also planted beans and other food items to help sustain and provide for the orphanage. The LC students also attended Mass, engaged the locals in conversation, played with the children in the neighborhood, visited local sights and rang in the New Year.
LC Spanish instructor, Ms. Chrissy Gill has been running the annual trip for several years and each one has been very special to her. She remarked, “I know our kids will cherish every moment. We get to experience the Dominican culture and work with the local community. It is a truly invaluable experience to not just volunteer, but to understand and live alongside those who you’re helping. When the students create personal bonds, they remember the need and become citizens who continue to be contributors throughout their lives.”
Pictured Above Left: LC students Andrea Cervizzi of Tewksbury, Ellen McKenna of Lowell and Maggie Penta of Tewksbury play basketball with local Children. Above Right: Penta, McKenna and Marlaina Autiello of Dracut work with one of the children at the Hogar Immaneul Orphanage. Chad Hult of Nashua, NH, Penta, Mr. James Leonard an LC Theology Instructor, Sarah Cunningham of Tewksbury and McKenna work to garden the grounds at the Orphanage. Bottom Right, Penta and Brandon Silva of Dracut bring the children of the orphanage out for some fresh sea air.
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