“Service brings me peace, joy and a sense of purpose,” says Nicole Frances Delesdernier, an incoming senior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
As a member of St. Angela Merici Parish, Delesdernier has been an active member of the Catholic Youth Organization since the eighth grade. During the 2010-’11 school year, Delesdernier served as president.
Within the past year, St. Angela’s CYO held two drives to send gift boxes to the United States military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; the organization collected enough donations to send more than 30 boxes. For the past four years, Delesdernier has volunteered with the CYO at Second Harvest’s food bank, sorting and packaging food for families in need of assistance.
Each year Delesdernier also visits Chateau de Notre Dame nursing home. “I think it is important to work with and for your community because if you don’t help and support your community, how can you expect the community to help and support you when you need it?” says Delesdernier.
From the age of 4, she attended a two-week vacation Bible Camp called Scripture Safari during the summer. In the eighth grade, when Delesdernier was too old to attend, she became a counselor.
Delesdernier says, “The ability to help children and to hopefully help them enjoy themselves as much as I did is important to me. Perhaps the children I work with will follow my example of service as I followed my grandmother’s example of service.”
At Dominican, Delesdernier is involved in many clubs and organizations including the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, the Christian Leadership Council and the preaching team. Through NHS and MAO, Delesdernier volunteers with Lafayette Charter Academy in an afternoon tutoring program. She feels compelled to volunteer at Lafayette Charter Academy because many of the students are considered homeless, and most don’t get enough attention from their parents when it comes to schoolwork.
Delesdernier is also involved with Dominican’s cross country and track team. She loves spending time with her family and always feels that her maternal family reunion, held each summer, is too far in the future.
When she grows up, Delesdernier wants do something that enriches her community. “People all around could use help with something whether it’s big or small,” she says, “and lending a hand isn’t just helping the community, but creating it, because without people working to do their best for others, there truly is no community.”