McDonogh Upper School students from Baltimore, Md. tried their hands with a hammer this week with NOAHH for a leadership retreat.
This is the third year Rollins-Luetkemeyer Leaders Program from McDonogh has returned to build with a crew of nominated students. To be a part of the selective leaders program, these students went through an application process to earn a scholarship covering the school’s boarding expenses. They will then act as leaders of the student body. New Orleans Habitat acts as their service retreat. They blow up air mattresses and sleep at a church in Gretna, Co-Director of Rollins-Luetkemeyer Leaders Program Bridget Collins said.
“It’s bonding,” Collins said, laughing. “A lot of these kids don’t know each other, or haven’t worked together before. They leave at the end of the week having had a great experience together.”
McDonogh initially chose to work with NOAHH for scheduling. But Collins said after 3 years, it has transformed into so much more. The faculty directing the leadership program turned their trip into a service workweek.
“Habitat’s mission aligns really well with the messages of service we want to teach these kids,” Collins said.
And McDonogh School even has quite history with the city of New Orleans, despite its location in Baltimore, Md.; Collins, a history teacher at the school, would know.
John McDonogh, born in Baltimore, is responsible for McDonogh’s land and vision, bequeathing half of his estate in 1850. But he also lived in New Orleans for business-related reasons. After his death, he left his fortune to the city of Baltimore and New Orleans for the purpose of building public schools. The McDonogh Fund is responsible for 30 schools in the New Orleans area.
“We even visit McDonogh’s grave on our trip,” Collins said, excitedly.
The students serve and learn on their trip to New Orleans. NOAHH extends a big thank you to McDonogh schools for continuing to return to build.
“It’s always a rewarding week,” Collins said.