Ask someone on the street what young people do with their time these days, and they would probably answer play video games, gab on their smartphones or exchange selfies among each other.
In the case of four Cairo-Durham High School students, they would be wrong.
Sophomores Lauren Zecca, Jessica Baeckmann and Natalie McGuire, and freshman Zoe Vogel flew to the Central American nation of Costa Rica to participate with members of the Cairo-Durham Rotary Club in a service project in which they built a safe house to shelter abused women in the village of Liberia. That’s quite an accomplishment for a quartet of teenage girls from Greene County.
When they weren’t working, the girls volunteered at an animal sanctuary, met some of their Costa Rican peers, and played volleyball and soccer.
This was a tremendous opportunity for the students. Natalie said she always likes to help the community. She helped a community thousands of miles away to rescue women from their abusers. Cairo-Durham high school teacher Heather Maassmann, who introduced the idea to the girls, is justifiably proud of her students.
The shelter the girls helped create will bring financial opportunities to Liberia for years to come and provide a space for Liberia’s students to grow in their education. The Cairo-Durham community should be proud of the hard work the students put in — working in the hot sun from pouring concrete to moving dirt and painting the building. Cairo-Durham students created a space that will change the lives of Liberia’s women for all time. The gift that Lauren, Jessica, Natalie and Zoe gave to Costa Rica cannot be equaled.
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