NOTE: Student-athletes are more than just competitors on the field; in many ways, a student-athlete’s education comes in three different avenues. First the student learns in the classroom; then they learn with on-the-job training in their respective fields of study; finally, the student-athlete learns on the field of play as well to complete the cycle of attaining knowledge through their years of higher education. Sometimes, also, the student learns by going on unforgettable trips and realizing memorable experiences that can only be offered through higher levels of education and institutional programs offered at colleges and universities.
This is “Molloy Athletes in Action.” The Department of Athletics presents this series as a first-person account of Molloy student-athletes in their respective fields doing incredible things that will enhance their knowledge and better their understanding of their studies going forward. These are first-person accounts straight from the student-athletes that have not been edited, doctored or changed in any way, shape or form.
Gianna Jennosa and Danielle Valente are members of the Molloy College women’s soccer team who were fortunate enough to travel to New Orleans as part of “Service-Learning Travel” with the Office of Experiential Learning on campus. Devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the area fondly known as “The Big Easy” has been slowly making a comeback with the help of volunteers and residents of the area and abroad.
GIANNA AND DANIELLE: The trip to New Orleans was one of our favorite experiences with Molloy College. It was very educational as we learned about a few natural disasters that had occured, such as Hurricane Katrina. Due to the severity of this hurricane, it had a huge impact on the coastline of Louisiana, which is what we helped go and restore. Doing activities along the coastline such as weeding, putting down new soil, planting flowers and trees, and inserting Hesco baskets into the shore allowed us to see how much work was still needed to be done to help restore the coastline.
Along with restoring the coastline, we got the opportunity to work with students from the International school of Louisiana as we were accompanied by the U.S Fish and Wildlife services. Together we went on walks through the Bayou Savage, which is a natural home for surrounding wildlife and placed predator guards on newly planted trees to allow them to grow to their full potential. Lastly, we had the luxury to canoe through some of the largest lakes surrounding Louisiana and insert new plants in the swamps to help restore what was destroyed.
Overall this trip was very educational, successful, and definitely a fun experience that we would highly recommend to the student body at Molloy College. This trip truly had an impact on us by showing us how less fortunate some people are. Seeing some of the houses in the Lower Ninth Ward, a town that was highly impacted by the storm, was quite a tragedy as the people walking around seemed to still be devastated. This experience made us realize how lucky we are, and was an eye opener to see the struggle people have to go through in their every day lives. Being able to help out and give back to a community that was effected by such a tragedy was an amazing feeling that everybody should experience at some point in their lives. Exploring and aiding to the restoration of New Orleans allowed us to do a lot of self reflecion in the way pollution is effecting us.
Because of the damage taken place not only in New Orleans but any other country or state that is impacted by natural disasters, the pollution it causes is very dangerous and will have an impact on generations to come. This will cause us to be more aware of recycling everything we could to contribute to helping the earth. Not only are we going to recycle but spreading the word is just as important as doing it yourself. The more people we get on the same page to help out the cause of pollution in the air, water, soil, etc. will have a positive impact on the world we live in not only today but for generations to come.