Paige Elizabeth Cohn is an incoming senior at St. Michael’s Special School where she has attended since 2004 when her family moved back from Dallas, Texas.
Cohn is a member of the student council, a co-chair for the activity committee and a cheerleader for three years.
She has also volunteered as a Summer Camp Counselor at the Contemporary Arts Center and is a member of its teen board.
Cohn has volunteered in and around her neighborhood since Hurricane Katrina. The Cohn family’s house was flooded with four feet of water, but they were able to move back in rather quickly. In the months after the storm, Cohn did clean ups along Bayou St. John, at the old Morris FX Elementary School and along St. Charles Avenue after Mardi Gras. Cohn and her father would go to City Park and help with weeding and planting to restore the landscape.
“Doing those kinds of things was very rewarding because I was doing what I could to help the city to recover after the storm,” says Cohn. “We still do clean up on the streets around my neighborhood; luckily not as much now.”
For the Crescent City Classic, Cohn and her family volunteered passing out water to the runners. Cohn says, “Some runners would be going so fast, I’d get splashed as they grabbed the cup. I’ve never seen so many thirsty people before or so many cups when it was over.”
After the runners passed, Cohn helped pick up the cups. The city was going to send people to clean up the streets but it was easier and greener to clean up the neighborhood right then and there.
“I think that if you want to make your community a better place, you have to be willing to do something about it,” says Cohn. “You can’t spend all your time inside watching TV or playing on the computer because if you do, you might miss out on a chance to help someone or maybe miss out on doing something fun.”
Being on the Activity Committee at St. Michael’s usually means that the club gets to plan socials for the school.
However, when the earthquake in Haiti hit, the club decided to organize a bake sale at school. The bake sale raised $300 to send to Haiti.
This past spring, Cohn worked on a project to host a Career Fair at St. Michael’s Special School. Cohn says, “It’s pretty hard for everyone to find jobs right now, but even more so if you have a disability. I thought it would be good idea to have the administration help bring in people from different agencies to meet with our parents to give them information on how to help their child find a job or get vocational training when they leave St. Michael’s.”
Cohn loves the all of the festivals that New Orleans holds throughout the year. She isn’t sure of her career path yet, but would like to work with children in a museum. She also has interest in working in the restaurant business because she likes to cook and eat. She wants to continue her volunteer work to help those less fortunate.