Jessie Ledet is a sophomore at Mount Carmel Academy, where she’s on the Junior Varsity softball team. Last year, her softball team decided to set a goal to raise $15,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Ledet had a personal family connection with the disease and wanted to raise money to help find a cure. “It was really tough watching my grandfather suffer from Alzheimer’s,” Ledet says, “and it was even harder watching my family get all worked up and depressed about the situation. I decided to get into all this Alzheimer’s business because I didn’t want other families to have to suffer as mine did.”

The softball team started its fundraising goals by sponsoring a golf tournament that raised more than $7,000. They also sponsored two painting parties at Painting with a Twist in Gretna and a kickball tournament.

Since all of the other events were geared towards adults, Ledet wanted to host an event where students would be able to become involved and make a difference. With this in mind, she recruited members of her Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) to help run the tournament; her CYO even had a team participate. The kickball tournament was a hit – having a total of 12 teams participating and raising $3,000.

By the time the Alzheimer’s walk came around, Ledet’s team, Buddy’s Crew, won first place and raised more than $15,000. In total the team raised $18,789. Ledet says, “Knowing I made a difference was definitely the most rewarding experience. I feel that I have gained a sense of accomplishment by doing these activities.”

Ledet volunteered to give back to the community. She says, “You never know whose family is going through what you’re going through in your community; that’s why you should get involved. You can do anything in your community.”

Even though Mount Carmel requires its students to perform service hours each year, Ledet went above and beyond the required number of service hours. She dedicated much of her free time for all of these events and fundraising efforts.

“I know that some people dread service hours, but if you find something that you like to do it becomes fun,” says Ledet.
Ledet would love to pursue a career in the medical field but doesn’t think that she wants to study Alzheimer’s disease. In the future she would love to become a pediatrician because she loves working with kids. Ledet also helps her parents with her two little sisters and babysits a neighbor’s children on a regular basis. All of this exposure helps her learn the proper way to treat a child when he or she has a bruise from falling down or a stomachache from eating too much candy. She hopes to continue a partnership in supporting the Alzheimer’s Association while she furthers her studies in the medical field.