“I believe it’s important to

be involved in my community, help those in need, and be a model of Christ to those around you,” says Ellyn Elizabeth Culotta, a senior at Mount Carmel Academy.
Volunteering through Mount Carmel, Culotta has participated with Habitat for Humanity. “It astounds me to think that my full work day builds a house for an entire family, providing them with shelter. I have fun on the site and work diligently to build a better future for those who cannot work for themselves,” she says.

Culotta’s most rewarding volunteer experience has been with the Feed Jesus Program through the Christian Life Community at Mount Carmel. The club delivers treats and sandwiches to the Feed Jesus Facility behind St. Joseph’s Church.

“This hands-on experience was so rewarding because even though these people face a very difficult life, they smiled brilliantly and said ‘thank you,’ filling me with gratitude and kindness,” she says.

Culotta has also assisted in the annual mission drive with the Christian Life Community by selling tickets to help those in need. The money that the club raises allows it to adopt two children from Honduras, purchase farm animals to provide food for the hungry and build five wells to provide fresh water for surrounding areas.
Jane Mickal taught Culotta religion at Mount Carmel and inspired her to become an activist. One of the service activities included a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service On Not Off. During this service event, the participants cleaned a church from top to bottom, and the following year they took care of the elderly people in a nursing home.

“Mrs. Mickal’s gentle and loving nature reminds me of Mother Mary … she has mentored me and treated me as if I was her own; I realize that she will always guide me and support me in all decisions that I make,” says Culotta.

At Mount Carmel, Culotta is also apart of the MCA Ambassador team, Life Skills Club, Liturgical Choir, National Honor Society and Tri-M, and also serves as a Come Lord Jesus Leader.

Culotta plans on attending Louisiana State University, where she wants to major in early childhood education. In the future, Culotta wants to change the world one act of kindness at a time.