Service Project Entries Wow the Judges

by Sister Margaret Hoffman

Rosemary Hua's Ghana project won the award this year.

Rosemary Hua’s Ghana project won the award this year.

For a second year I had the privilege of serving on the selection committee judging projects for the Mary Beth Riley Award for International Study or Service at Notre Dame High School, San Jose. Each year one project is selected and funded and the student undertakes the project over the summer break.

I was impressed by the exciting projects presented: a U.N.-initiated program for children fighting cancer in Iran; a program off the British Virgin Islands to save coral reefs and mangrove trees; an empowerment program for disabled children in South Africa; and participation in a Global Routes program to build a school and library in Ghana.  Each of these projects was worthy of winning the award!

I am delighted to report that students at NDHS, San Jose, are absorbing the spirit of the SND Hallmark for Community Service in highly creative ways.  Earlier in the semester I participated in the evaluation of senior service projects where each student is able to pursue her interest in the community as she chooses. Student Lorenza Shabe visited a Mountain View drop-in center for day workers, El Centro Obrero, learned about their struggles and achievements and documented the work of the center in video.  She plans to study film making.  Another student, Sarah Zuniga, and her friends went to their elementary school to teach reading skills through drama. At the end of the semester the sixth-graders begged Sarah and her friends to come back; they had become so involved in reading expressively for the plays.