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Academy hosts another successful mission week
March 25, 2022
The week of March 6 through 11 was our annual Rose Week, a week-long service opportunity for the entire high school to complete simultaneously. The freshmen served at a different Tampa charity each day. The juniors and seniors had the opportunity to attend away trips, while the freshmen, sophomores, and upperclassmen who chose to serve in the Tampa community were split into Rose project groups ideated and led by students to serve a specific need in our community. There were 17 Rose Project groups, five away trips and the freshmen served at five sites.
The away sites were found all over the southeast, including Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida. The away trips left on Saturday or Sunday, and returned the following Friday or Saturday. 77 upperclassmen served in away mission trips, and they were led by 18 members of the Academy faculty and staff. This year, the away trips focused on joining missionaries who serve a given population year-round and entered a semblance of the missionaries’ daily lives. They served in a variety of ways including performing construction work for the disabled or impoverished; learning about and serving alongside existing groups aiding communities facing both financial and spiritual poverty; volunteering with abused or neglected children; renovating public and private areas; and spending time with individuals in their respective communities.
The Rose Project groups faced issues ranging from homelessness, the availability of service animals, underprivileged elementary schools, and much more. Each project was led by two or three students who went through rigorous planning and multiple meetings with the Mission and Ministry office in preparation. Rose Project groups served both from school and on-site with organizations such as Feeding America, Metropolitan Ministries, Southeast Guide Dogs, and Potter Elementary
On Friday, March 18, all the Rose Week groups met one last time to recap their week of service. Some of the groups took this time to exchange letters of affirmation, while others recapped the significance of their work and the highs and lows they experienced. Freshmen met in the Chapel where they attended a short panel composed of a few seniors who went on away trips, which explained the type of work performed and the opportunities available to them in the future. Their meeting concluded with a talk by Mission and Ministry Faith Coordinator Patrick Phelan about missionary work through encounter.
When asked how he felt the week went, Mission and Ministry Outreach Coordinator Kim Wiley stated that, “I think it overall went very well, we had 13 buses a day taking girls all over Tampa to do service. Our greatest roadblock was actually Academy girls working harder than the sites anticipated and finishing more tasks than expected. The week seemed to be a huge success, with both the girls on trips and in Tampa giving us positive feedback. We also received many accolades from the various sites we visited about the positive and hardworking nature of the girls.”
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