“I believe that it’s important for me and other teenagers like myself to be involved in the community, so that our future community can be a community that we helped create and make great,” says Michael Baquet III, a senior at Archbishop Rummel High School.
Baquet is involved with the Young Peacemakers Leaders Council (a student leadership group,) Track and Field and Robotics.
One of the most rewarding volunteer experiences he has had was with a summer camp at Loyola University named Faith Acts. The group taught participants about environmentally friendly practices and the environmental and financial impact Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans.
As part of the camp, the participants volunteered in the Lower 9th Ward to assist with simple tasks such as cutting grass and painting houses. These small tasks seem insignificant, but the participants learned that these small modifications can increase the value of the home.
“I have also learned how to care about the needs of those who society has forgotten about. When tragic events happen, we often send our thoughts and prayers to the victims right after the tragedy,” says Baquet. “However, as time goes on, we tend to forget about those who continue to struggle and worry. I want to make sure that I don’t move on so quickly so that I can be there for those who are still in need.”
Baquet also attended the March for Life event in Washington DC that advocates the protection of unborn lives. Archbishop Aymond led a Mass to discuss how pro-life issues are not just concerning abortion, but about living in a safe and stable community.
“Archbishop Aymond’s speech made me realize that even if I can’t agree with other people on the more controversial sides of an issue, there’s still common ground that can be found,” says Baquet.
Leroy Baker, a teacher at Rummel, introduced Baquet to Young Peacemakers Leaders Council, which allowed Baquet to explore additional programs and activities.
“Leroy Baker has been a source of inspiration, hope and wisdom to all of the people that he comes in contact with each and every day. Words cannot possibly describe how much he has inspired not only me, but the rest of my school,” says Baquet.
Baquet is still undecided where he wants to he wants to go to college. He plans on majoring in International Relations and hopes to work for the State Department as a foreign policy advisor. Baquet wants to continue the work he has done as a student activist well into his adult life.