One of this month's featured student is senior Francesca Rizzo, who has been named President of this year's MHS Drama Club. Including the achievement of President, Rizzo had a life changing opportunity to volunteer with the organization Habitat for Humanity this past summer. This organization helps people who do not have homes by recruiting a number of volunteers who will participate in building houses for those in need. Rizzo had the opportunity to make a difference by traveling to Lafayette, Louisiana to do just that. Once in New Orleans, she was joined with a group of 15 other students from around the world and NCCC and AmeriCorps members. Together they traveled 3 hours from New Orleans to their work site in Lafayette, Louisiana.
"From 8:00am until 3:30pm we were on the worksite. By the end of my trip we finished framing, raising all of the walls, and getting the house ready for a roof," says Francesca.
Although the work was hard and the Southern heat was tiring, the result was rewarding.
"As cliche as it may be, Habitat really did change my life. When I met the family that would be moving into the house we were building, I really understood why I was there."
She recalls a 17 year old boy she met, who would be moving into the home she was building.
"He has been working at a fast food restaurant since he was fourteen to help contribute to the family's bills. When we asked if he planned on attending college, he said that he wasn't sure because he might have to stay home and work. We don't realize how lucky we are. I never take anything for granted anymore."
Along with the work of building the home, the volunteers took educational trips as well.
"We went on a bayou tour, went to traditional Cajun restaurants, made endless amounts of trips to Super Walmart (there were at least four in the town we were in), attended a baseball game, and went to a homeowner's ceremony," Rizzo says.
Her trip to Louisiana a success and a reward. Rizzo, who wants to major in Philosophy and minor in Peace Studies, is passionate about the work she has done for Habitat for Humanity. .
"I want to keep programs like this going. I want to work for a nonprofit... perhaps even Habitat for Humanity!"
Now back at home and in her senior year at MHS, Rizzo has been appointed the President of the Drama Club.
"I am thrilled to be the President of the Drama Club this year! Being the President is being the face of the Drama Club; one of the spokespeople for the program. The President has to embody the program,"she says of the title.
Anticipating an exciting year for productions, with Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" as the fall production, an original production for winter's METG Drama Festival, and "Beauty and the Beast" for the spring musical.
If you don't want to audition, why come see the shows!
"The drama club has some seriously fierce actors and actresses as well as a killer crew this year, you don't want to miss it!"
With the amazing experience working alongside Habitat for Humanity and an exciting year ahead as President of Drama, Rizzo has begun her final year at MHS on a high note.
If you, a friend, or family member are interested in experiencing and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, Rizzo says that she would "strongly encourage them to check out Habitat's website for volunteer opportunities!"
By: Thea Burke