Victoria Marcel, a senior and class president at Ursuline Academy, truly follows the school’s motto Serviam, Latin for “I will serve.”

As Marcel prepares for her final semester of high school, she plans to go to college to study medicine. She is an aspiring physician’s assistant and volunteers at Children’s Hospital with Art Cart, a program that provides opportunities for children to be creative while in the hospital.

Her ultimate goal is to travel the world while serving the poor and underprivileged.

Marcel is also a member of Teen Cross, a Catholic service organization under the auspices of the Archdiocese of New Orleans that organizes World Youth Day and Abbey Youth Fest – two activities that develop young leaders in the Catholic Church. This past year, the service program at Ursuline focused on helping the homeless. The seniors partnered with St. Joseph Rebuild Center on Tulane Avenue where they visited and spent time with the homeless of New Orleans.

“From an early age, my parents have taught me the importance of accepting others, regardless of age, race, nationality, gender, religion, or status, says Marcel.

“I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit as I have grown up and my travels have helped me to be more open to the differences I have with others, not just others in different countries, but also to be open to the differences I have with those in the New Orleans area.”  

One of her most rewarding volunteer experiences was the Encontradome Con Cristo Guatemalan Mission. Marcel participated during the summer
of 2011 with a parish group from Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish in Thibodaux. About 50 volunteers traveled to Santa Cruz Xobalam, Guatemala for 10 days to bring filtered water to a rural Guatemalan village.

The volunteers installed water cisterns for needy families so they would have easier access to drinking water.

“I think my activism has helped me grow as an individual because I have been given the opportunity to help others to change their own lives, like the families in Guatemala, who now have running water because of our mission trip,” says Marcel.