Jeanne Elise Michel, senior at Mount Carmel Academy, has been an active volunteer at the Louisiana SPCA for the past seven years.
Over the past two years, Michel has concentrated her volunteering in the veterinary clinic. “I have had the opportunity to participate in finding loving homes for many animals, and I have learned many skills that will benefit my future,” she says.
As a volunteer for the LA/SPCA and Louisiana Boxer Rescue, Michel has fostered many dogs and puppies at her home. She has taken care of litters of up to four puppies until they were old enough for adoption. She has also fostered adult dogs during medical treatments and illnesses. Michel wants to spread the word that adoptions are a better way to get a new puppy than going through a puppy mill or breeder.
“One of the best aspects to volunteering at the LA/SPCA is when an animal gets adopted because they’re given a second chance at life and the love they deserve,” she says. “Having the opportunity to be a part of this process and working with the public and staff at the LA/SPCA is truly rewarding.”
Michel believes that youths should get involved in the community because it gives kids the opportunity to give back and make a difference. “Although some children may be hesitant to get involved because of peer pressure, it’s extremely rewarding. Service allows kids the opportunity to discover their talents and abilities and share those with their neighbors and friends.”
She also suggests that if high schoolers cannot find a concrete service project, they can volunteer by simply assisting an elderly neighbor.
Volunteering has been a big impact on Michel’s life; she believes that New Orleans has something special to offer everyone. With her volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, she learns a new skill while helping a family in need.
“The feeling of building a home for a family that has been displaced is exhilarating and humbling,” she says. “Although I may not know the family personally, I’ll always know that I made an impact by giving my time, energy and effort to help these families rebuild their lives.”
She has also been active with Animal Rescue New Orleans, Louisiana Boxer Rescue, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans and The Desmond Project. At school, Michel is a member of the Christian Life Community, Campus Ministry and serves as president of Pets Are Worth Saving. During her free time, Michel enjoys exercising and has completed two triathlons and a half-marathon. Michel wants to become a doctor of veterinary medicine and plans to attend Louisiana State University to continue her education.