With under 24 hours before they left, the WHS students who signed up for the New Orleans service trip weren’t sure that it would happen because there weren’t any chaperones. But after the help of some sophomores, middle school art teacher Rebecca Kowalski and eighth grade learning specialist Megan Leddy agreed to lead the trip.
“It was definitely shocking for all of us. We were really excited to go. Actually, Ishika and I went to the middle school and tried to find people because we really wanted to go and experience that,” sophomore Isabella Desio said. “We were really glad that it did happen, but that was not what we were expecting.”
When approached with the offer, Kowalski was very nervous, but she said that she’s glad she could go on the trip.
“It was like riding the very first part of an exciting roller coaster. I felt like I had boarded the cart, and was click-click-clicking up a steep hill with no idea what lay ahead. There was a slow realization that it could actually happen,” Kowalski said.
Since the trip was able to happen, students were able to participate in various activities around the New Orleans community.
“We went to the boys and girls club to help kids with their homework, and that was really impactful for me because of how different the education is down there, and how much work they do,” Desio said.
Along with helping out the New Orleans community, the WHS students got to explore the city.
“Besides from work, we went to museums and plantations, where we learned about the history of the city and culture of the south,” senior Kevin Ma said. “We were also invited to a neighborhood barbeque at 9th ward, and they lived at the place that was hit really badly during Hurricane Katrina. We walked up to the levee to see the height of the old one and height of the new one.”
Since this was Ma’s third time on the trip, he was able to reflect on his overall experience.
“It’s interesting to see the same people grow or get older. For example, [there is one kid] when I was there [during my first trip], he was three, and now he’s five and a half, which is interesting to see how he’s computing,” Ma said. “It’s interesting to see different places every time because we don’t usually do the same activity.”