“It is important to be involved in the community because in order for us to fully appreciate all that we have, we must see how other people live who may not be as fortunate,” says Taylor Pilar Monthey, a senior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Monthey’s most rewarding volunteer experience to date is going on her school’s mission trip to Bani in the Dominican Republic for a week of service at Espíritu Santo School, founded and operated by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

“Prior to our trip, I asked my grammar school CYO, friends and family to help the St. Mary’s Dominican High School community collect school supplies that we would bring with us,” says Monthey. “Although I speak some Spanish, the language barrier did impact the way we interacted with the school children, but Playing many rounds of Simon Dice or ‘Simon Says’ helped.”

From her community involvement, Monthey learned to savor everything that she does for others. She has gained a new knowledge of the world around her and worlds miles away.

“The trip reminded me about my Hispanic heritage and of the struggles that many of my family members endured before coming to the United States,” Says Monthey. “They made many sacrifices in order to live the American Dream.”

Blair Anthony Milano, Monthey’s cousin, inspired her to become actively involved in her community. As a high school student, Milano went on a mission trip to Nicaragua that inspired him. Seeing that inspiration, something was sparked in Monthey’s heart and she knew she wanted to become and activist.

Monthey is also involved with the Liturgical Music Ministers, Multicultural Club, and Craft Club at Dominican. Other than mission trips, Monthey volunteers at local school fairs and tries to participate in other volunteer opportunities. Between school, clubs and volunteering, Monthey is also a cashier at Chateau Drugs and Gifts.

She enjoys swimming, shopping and singing in her spare time. In the future, Monthey would like to earn a degree in finance and see wherever that takes her. She wants to be involved with her community and hopes to focus on working with children.