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Hamilton's First Summer Service Trip Takes Students to New Orleans

Volunteers Worked on Post-Katrina Cleanup and Rebuilding

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A group of Hamilton students traveled to New Orleans for 10 days to contribute to post-Hurricane Katrina cleaning and rebuilding efforts. This trip focused on the storm's impact on schools and the education system in and around New Orleans, and the students volunteered at the New Orleans Science and Math Charter High School. The school had been flooded with 8-feet of water for weeks after the hurricane and, two year later, still remains without power. Participants were: Tamim Akiki '08, Mike Flanders '09, Sarah Gulack '09, Shane Knapp '09, Ashley Langer '09, Stacey Ng '10, Doug Paetzell '09, Emily Pallin '08, David Schlifka '09 and Stephanie Tafur '10.

According to Emily Pallin '08, one of the trip's organizers, "We were the first group to enter the school since the storm, and using headlamps, we sorted through, packed, and organized furniture, textbooks, and personal items left behind in the storm. Our team also worked to renovate the building temporary serving the students."

Hurricane Katrina, on August 28, 2005, destroyed 90% of New Orleans schools. Today, students and families continue to move back to the region at a rate that exceeds the number of schools, teachers, and teaching facilities that the city can provide.

This was Hamilton's first summer service trip, and it was funded by both ASB and HAVOC.

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