“Service has helped me to learn a lot about myself, and I plan to continue to volunteer for as long as I am able,” says Jenna Elizabeth Cavalero, a senior at Mount Carmel Academy.
One of Cavalero’s most rewarding volunteer experiences is working with Camp Challenge, a week-long overnight camp at Lions Camp Center in Leesville. The camp is for children who have a terminal disease and their siblings.
“I’m a survivor of childhood cancer, so Camp Challenge holds a very special place in my heart and I look forward to spending time with all of the campers and staff,” says Cavalero.
The campers play lots of games, sings songs and participate in other fun activities during the day. Throughout, groups of children will cheer between the lunch tables to determine who’s the loudest table. Cavalero enjoys seeing the smiles on all the campers as they dance and play games.
At Mount Carmel, juniors and seniors have the option to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. The first time Cavalero volunteered with Habitat, the group built a foundation house. The day was extremely hot and the manual labor was intense. The future owners of the house were outside working with the volunteers, which helped them all realize their goal.
Kristen Hode, Cavalero’s eighth grade English teacher, has inspired her throughout her high school career. Hode always encourages Cavalero to be the best version of herself, so that she can be kind to others.
“I have learned a lot about serving others through Ms. Hode, due to her constant generosity and her kind heart,” says Cavalero.
Cavalero is still undecided about where she would like to go to college, but when she finally decides, she wants to study something in the medical field. She also enjoys reading and spending time with her friends outside of all of her volunteer activities.
“I’ve gone through high school jumping into new things constantly, so I always keep myself busy,” she says. “I want to look back on these years and remember all of the adventurous things I did, and I hope that these years will continue to inspire me to be active in my community when I’m older.”