Juniors react to their first day of service projects


Kevin Berns

The school blesses juniors during the missioning mass before they leave for their projects.

Jay Dolan, Editor-in-Chief

The juniors participated in their first day of projects yesterday following the all-school Missioning Mass. They served at different places all across St. Louis helping various types of people such as the elderly and kids with disabilities.

Junior Ryan Moore worked at North Glendale Elementary. He was assigned to help his cousin Katy, a 3rd-grade girl with down syndrome. He spent the day reading and playing with her and her friends.

“I wanted to work with people with disabilities and learn how to better teach them, so this was a good way to do that,” Moore said. “It was kinda awkward at first honestly, but I opened up and it got more fun after I got to know the kids and teacher more.”

Junior Harrison Evers served at Brooking Park Retirement home in Chesterfield. On his first day, Evers got to know the residents and played board games with them.

“I wanted to be able to listen to the stories of people that have lived through so much and for so long,” Evers said. “I had fun playing Bingo with the residents and listening to their stories.”

Junior Dominic Tocco volunteered at Carman Trails early childhood center in Ballwin.

“It started slow, then once they got to know me and knew that I was gonna be there for the whole year they kinda started to warm up to me and soon were not afraid of me,” Tocco said. “I was pushing them on the swing and they were singing a song so that was probably the best part of the day.”

Ryan Sextro knows that projects will be hard at first but he urges juniors to stick with it and see it with a new perspective if they are down on the work they are doing.

“I credit De Smet’s theology classes and junior projects for shaping my sense of justice in my corner of the world,” Sextro said. “[Projects] will become comfortable over time. If they can learn empathy and learn to be in the shoes of the people who they are serving makes a huge difference in the world.”