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Service Beyond Our Borders

Lauren Handy and Kyra Davis go beyond the borders and serve those in need

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Being a religious based school, service is an extremely important aspect in the OLP culture. Service at OLP ranges from serving your dear neighbor locally to travelling  beyond the borders of the United States to exotic destinations, such as Peru and Nicaragua. It is common among the OLP community to complete your assigned hours in the summer due to the fact that you have three whole months with no classes. Two students at the Academy decided to take advantage of their time and resources and decided to step out of their comfort zones. These two students, Lauren Handy ‘19 and Kyra Davis ‘19 truly had an amazing opportunity to serve others in the name of God.

Lauren Handy and Kyra Davis were blessed enough to serve people in need in far away countries. Lauren, travelling to Lourdes, France, got the opportunity to work in alliance with USC Catholic Caruso Center. She had the opportunity to be an ambassador at one of the most holiest places in the world, where the Virgin Mary came to Bernadette. Lauren helped guide the sick elders from Italy and France to and from mass each day. She would also assist them at mass and other services. I asked Lauren how present the religious atmosphere was and if it affected her. She said, “Yes, I felt very spiritual. Everything about Lourdes is centered around faith. There were so many different rosaries to pray to in different languages and events to connect with God. Different people from around the world were there for one reason and it was to be connected with God.” With her mom being an alumni of the University of Southern California, Lauren was able to serve others in a way she would have never imagined. Within the 10 days of her service trip, Lauren was able to learn about the Holy Spirit and learned about herself too. Lauren came to the realization that she loves helping people and seeing their faces light up. She said that, “ Helping people through God brings happiness to myself and I love to see other people feel happy when I help them.” Despite the language barriers, communication ended up working smoothly. The use of facial expressions and hand gestures allowed Lauren to talk to the elders. Lauren feels truly blessed to have this opportunity and clearly wouldn’t trade it for the world. She closed our conversation, “It was really amazing how much God was these individuals and it really impacted me.”

 

Kyra Davis took another of service and decided to help aid those by playing the wonderful sport of volleyball. Kyra, travelling to Vietnam and Laos,  was involved in an association called San Diego Diplomacy Council. This organization teamed up with Monarch Schools and Exodus Volleyball. Together, these organizations and Kyra travalled 8,022 miles to the country of Vietnam. Her service entailed of playing against the people of Vietnam and Laos in a friendly match of volleyball. However, in Laos, volleyball is not a popular sport so Kyra helped the children learn the basic of volleyball. After each match, the teams would exchange gift bags with items from their home country. Kyra explained to me her experience and she said, “I have never been to Vietnam or Laos so this was a big culture shock. The experience was amazing. We would usually mix up the teams after each match and it was really cool to see how everyone interacted despite the language barrier.” I asked Kyra how present the Lord was while doing her duties. She responded,” That communication was very special and you can see God in everyone and the bonds that were made.” This experience was “once in a lifetime”, Kyra states, and something that she will cherish forever.

These two girls were fully immersed in the culture of the they were apart of and were so thankful to have the opportunity to be able to serve those in need. These opportunities made over the summer are truly a blessing. It is heartwarming to serve those in need and even better to see their faces light up in the end.

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Service Beyond Our Borders