Service and social justice are at the very heart of the mission of Lakewood Catholic Academy. Students of all ages learn about social justice issues and participate in a variety of service initiatives in our local community. The Saints of LCA try to do their part to change their corner of the world for the better.
One unique aspect of Lakewood Catholic Academy’s social justice work is the international service learning experience. LCA is the only Catholic elementary school in the Diocese that provides international service opportunities to its middle school students.
In June 2019, 26 courageous Saints traveled to the rainforest of Ecuador. While there, students participated in cultural events like dancing, jungle hikes and jewelry making. The students also learned about Ecuador’s history and the social issues facing its citizens including environmental, educational, health and water related struggles. Most importantly, the students of Lakewood Catholic Academy served the community by working on a clean water project that will provide safe water to a community that otherwise had no access. Additionally, students worked on an agricultural farm and planted banana trees.
The students and staff that participated in the Ecuador mission trip learned valuable lessons that they could not otherwise learn in the classroom. They realized although they are young, they have the power to change the world. Our traveling Saints also realized that their world was not THE world – they came to discover that the world is much bigger than they ever dreamed of, yet the distance between people of different cultures is closer than imagined.
Ultimately, the Saints of Lakewood Catholic Academy lived out the Gospel imperative, “to whom much is given, much is expected,” and in doing so, their hearts were changed forever.