#1StudentNWI: La Porte Making an Impact, Both Near and Far

#1StudentNWI: La Porte Making an Impact, Both Near and Far

What’s been happening?

Members of the LaPorte First Church of God (FCOG) recently traveled to Belize to provide a helping hand to the needy in those communities.

There were two different week-long mission trips that the FCOG held this summer, the first being mainly for the youth. According to Danny Evans, first week attendee, the youth are the main ones who made the trip as incredible and successful as it was. With tasks such as beginning to build a mission house, creating relationships with the people of Belize, and even putting together two Vacation Bible Schools, the youth seemed to stand out with their hard work and motivating attitudes.

“When talking about the guys and the girls, there is no division. Out of 44 people there were only 15 guys on this trip,” Evans said.

The group consisted of mainly high school and college students, but the maturity and hard work they displayed made them blend right in with the adults on the trip. Both Vacation Bible Schools were led solely by the youth, and according to mission trip-goers, they went above and beyond with the classes and the gathering of students.

The trip changed the lives of many in Belize, but the way that those from the FCOG were impacted has been considered indescribable.

“I constantly get reminded about how the church should work when we’re there because their churches work so closely together with one another. The whole community will help each other build. They’ll bus an entire congregation out to another church just to help them, and that’s just how their system works. It really builds a sense of community, and even the people who don’t go to church there are very respectful of the people who do, and we’re reminded that that’s how it should work,” Betsy Searle, trip-goer, said.

A magical experience for all who attended, the trip was one that truly changed the lives of many. After building relationships with those in Belize, and after seeing how much a group of young adults can accomplish through teamwork and dedication, the group is excited to gather more people for the next trip and create more memories that will last a lifetime.

What’s coming up?

The LaPorte County Small Animal Shelter, in addition to KarahTess Clothing & Lettering and Sara Kessler Photography, is a planned to sponsor the 3rd annual “Dog Days” event on Saturday, August 25th.

The event will take place at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds Draft Horse Barn beginning at 1:00 and will last until 4:00.

Pet photography, groomers, animal shelters, rescue groups, local vendors, a local veterinarian, and food vendors will all available for those attending the event. All ages are welcome, and parents are encouraged to bring their children. A bounce house will be available for children and demonstrations from local K-9 units, in addition to a CPR demo, will be included at this year’s event.

Items will also be raffled off at the event, including donations from Goose Feathers, K&J Fireworks, and Fenkers Furniture. All money raised through the raffles, in addition to the money gathered from entry fees, will go directly towards helping the local animals. KarahTess Clothing & Lettering will also be selling shirts at the event and will be donating money from every shirt sold.

With all of the exciting opportunities for families to experience at this year’s event, the hosts and vendors look forward to a large turnout. Any attending animals must have all vaccinations up to date. While pets are highly encouraged and expected to attend, any animal behaving in a poor manner will be asked to leave. For more information, or to provide donations, Jan Shaw can be contacted at 219-324-2721.

Student spotlight

Many high school students find balancing school, clubs, and work to be a struggle; Kirsten Lambert, La Porte High School senior, has managed to prove that through hard work, dedication, and passion, anything can be done, and any goal can be reached.

Lambert is a member of the LPHS National Honor Society, and she also takes part in the Work Ethic program. She is also a key member of FFA, as well as art club. In addition to her school groups and clubs, she shows pigs, sheep, dairy cows, steers, and goats as the President of the Pleasant Clovers 4-H Club. She also takes part in 4-H building projects, such as scrapbooking, general crafts, and recycling.

Adding to the groups and clubs that Lambert is a part of, she has been known to volunteer at many events searching for help. Between Adopt a Family, the Paws For Cause event, and the Fish Lake Paws For Cause Paddle Fest, Lambert has found community service to play a great role in her life.

Through taking care of her animals, and also being a part of the La Porte County Dairy Judging Team, Lambert spends most of her days around animals, and her job is no exception; she works at a local farm caring for and bottle feeding calves.

Between her school clubs, 4-H responsibilities, and work, Lambert still manages to have time to take her studies seriously, and has maintained a strong GPA going into her senior year. While she is not yet certain of what college she would like to attend, she has determined what she would like to study.

“I want to go to school for something dealing with animal science, more specifically the dairy field,” Lambert said.

With big plans ahead, Lambert is sure to find great success in her upcoming years.

Teacher spotlight

One of La Porte High School’s many beloved teachers, Jamie Lilly, has become one of the school’s friendliest faces.

Her career in teaching began at South Central Jr./Sr. High School in 1996. After a few years teaching there, and after a short break to raise her children, she made her way back to career in education. Following a few years at Purdue Northwest and Edgewood Elementary School in Michigan City, Lilly made her way to LPHS, and has become a true asset to the school’s staff.

Her love for education began at a young age when she found herself to enjoy learning and going to school. After a math lesson with a teacher who used unconventional teaching aids, she knew that she wanted to take her love for education and spread it to her own future students.

“I had a teacher who used a garbage can lid for a lesson one day. I thought that was so cool, and I wanted to try to use interesting techniques to teach,” Lilly said.

Not only does Lilly find her own unique ways to teach, but she finds creative ways to develop a learning environment in which students can easily understand the concepts she is teaching. She always offers to stay after school to help struggling students as well, and has even been found to assist students from other classes who are seeking help. According to Lilly, the success of her students is one of her favorite things to witness.

“I love hearing a student say they struggled with math, but they are understanding it better now. I enjoy seeing my students succeed. That’s what it’s all about,” Lilly said.

Throughout Lilly’s time at LPHS, she has become one of the students’ most favored teachers, and though she has only been at LPHS for a few years, she has impacted the education and lives of many.