Nicole Morris Reflects on New Orleans Service Experience
Feb. 4, 2013
Sophomore Nicole Morris was one of 22 Boston College student-athletes who traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina as part of the Devlin S-AFE Service Trip. The Eagles worked with the St. Bernard Project to work on a home in the Lower Ninth Ward.
Morris recounts her experience:
During the winter break, I was able to travel to New Orleans with one of my teammates, [junior] Hannah Mulvey, and 20 other student athletes to rebuild homes. I had never been to New Orleans before, but I knew about all the damage Hurrican Katrina had caused. I had no idea how immense the damage was even seven years later until I arrived there. We were able to tour the Lower Ninth Ward on the first day and I was in shock to see so many abandoned houses.
We spent most of our time working on a house that only had a frame when we first arrived. Through many days of hard work, we had completely installed insulation and drywall to the house. It was amazing to see the progress that could be done in only five short days. While we were working on the house, we were also able to meet the homeowner and many other people who could tell us stories of their lives after the hurricane. These first-hand accounts of what it was like to be displaced were incredibly powerful. We were even able to look inside an abandoned house that was right next to the house we were building. It was shocking to see people's blankets, plates and clothes just left there. I think that was the moment I fully realized all the work that needed to be done.
In the afternoons, we visited a middle school and a Boys and Girls Club. At Lake Castle Academy, we had the opportunity to share with the kids what it is like to be a student-athlete and teach them a little bit about the sports we play. At the Boys and Girls Club, we played with the kids and helped them with their homework. They were so happy to see us there that even though we were exhausted from 6 a.m. wakeups, we put smiles on our faces and forgot about how tired we were.
I am extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to go on a trip like this that was so life changing. Thanks to the Devlin S-AFE Program, we were able to change others lives while making friendship that I never would have made otherwise. I probably also would have never gotten the opportunity to go to New Orleans and difference in the people's lives that live there. And for that, I will always be thankful.