Students show a passion for Christian service

Seniors connect life passions with service opportunities

Senior Erin Nemivant with the dogs she is training for Power Paws. (Cilento Photography/Special to The Seraphim)

Senior Erin Nemivant with the dogs she is training for Power Paws. (Cilento Photography/Special to The Seraphim)

By Natalie Zarasian, Staff Writer

Changing lives, training dogs, and working on the future. These three actions correspond to student participation in Christian service at Notre Dame Preparatory. Many students do the standard number of hours required, 120 over four years, whereas others go above and beyond. For example, senior Erin Nemivant explored her passion for helping animals by researching volunteer options connected to her love for dogs.

As a result, Nemivant discovered Power Paws, an organization whose mission is to provide service dogs to those in need.

“I train service dogs to help people who suffer with either PTSD, diabetes, and mobile assistance”  Nemivant said. “I want to be a vet, so I took every chance to be with animals, and when I stumbled upon power paws, I thought I had to do this.”

Nemivant stated that the impact of Power Paws in the community is strong.

“They really help those who are disabled, both physically and mentally, to become independent,” she said. “They help people become independent and eventually gain a new furry friend in the process.”

Similarly, senior Luke Reardon tapped his passion for medicine by volunteering at a hospitals, going on mission trips, and volunteering at his church. Reardon was moved by the compassion of others and cognizant of his own good fortune.

Senior Luke Reardon volunteering in Mexico (Mr. Smith/Special to The Seraphim)

“I have learned that I am very fortunate for everything I have,” he said. “When I went on the mission trip, I realized that people don’t have anything.”

Looking forward to attending Baylor University next year, Reardon is appreciative of what NDP has taught him lots about the importance of service.

“NDP impacted my idea of Christian Service by offering volunteer opportunities,” he said. “On these trips and services, I meet lots of people. In many cases, I better myself and learn a thing or two for my future.”

Senior Mason Stuart was able to take a life-changing service trip to Tanzania with NDP. His initial observation of Tanzania was full of amazement.

NDP senior Mason Stuart poses with the children he was helping in Tanzania (Mrs. Gjerstad/Special to the Seraphim)

Stuart stated, “I was amazed how much people lived in poverty. Ninety percent of the people I saw lived in small rundown houses. My favorite memory was when our group first arrived at the school and all the children were lined up, singing a song. Every single one of them had a smile on their face and this brought a lot of inner happiness to myself.”

As a result of the service requirements at NDP, students are allowed to delve into their interests and explore new territories. These three students are able to inspire others, based on their experiences.