Numerous Saint Francis High School students devoted a portion of their vacation this summer to go on immersion trips, where they lived in diverse communities, served the local population and broadened their horizons.
Students, along with faculty and staff chaperones, fanned out to locations around the country and the world. In the US, students traveled to Appalachia, where there is extreme poverty, to support the community with home repair projects. In Southern California, they strengthened their Holy Cross ties by joining students from five sister Holy Cross high schools, and in Houston, students helped fix homes in communities that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Further abroad, in Chile, Peru and Brazil, students connected with Holy Cross priests or Brothers and supported their work at schools or community centers. In addition, for the first time, a Saint Francis contingent traveled to Uganda. Lancers met with teachers and students at St. Joseph’s Hill, a Holy Cross high school. They also visited with community members at a health clinic and an elementary school run by the Sisters of Holy Cross.
Many students who go on immersions trips are grateful for the opportunity and return with a different view of the world. For senior Haley Hughes, who traveled to Uganda, the interactions with the local people were extremely meaningful. After visiting patients and meeting and conversing with students and their families at their homes, she feels her perspective now has shifted a bit, realizing just how much she takes for granted at home. Consequently, Haley is considering studying international health in college and hopes to become a nurse practitioner with a focus on children.
“This trip helped me find myself and where my passion truly is,” she said.