southtownstar
CHARMING 
Weather Updates

St. Laurence student gives back at home and abroad

Lorenzo Morales St. Laurence High School Burbank recently went service-oriented trip Peru.  |  Supplied phoby Amy Keating

Lorenzo Morales, of St. Laurence High School in Burbank, recently went on a service-oriented trip to Peru. | Supplied photo by Amy Keating

storyidforme: 57855089
tmspicid: 21115580
fileheaderid: 9893445

Updated: December 19, 2013 6:06AM



Lorenzo Morales, a senior at St. Laurence High School in Burbank, enjoys giving back.

As a freshman, he remembers hearing a member of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers talk about the needy in Peru, and it moved him so much he wanted to go there and help out.

“I talked to my parents and it was fine with them,” Morales said, “but I had to raise the money.”

The cost was $2,500, but since Morales’ class was the first one to go, the school paid for half, leaving each student to come up with $1,250 on his own. Morales, 18, turned to his relatives, all of whom support community service, and they pooled their funds so he could participate in the trip sponsored by the Christian Brothers program.

For two weeks last June, Morales lived and worked among the needy in Peru. He toured neighborhoods and helped out at the local Christian Brothers school, visited orphanages as well as soup kitchens. Ultimately, he helped demolish a home that was falling apart and then helped rebuild it.

“We put the walls up. The house wasn’t anything too difficult. I basically hammered, nailed and help put on the roof,” Morales said.

“It made me feel really good inside because I felt like I was doing it for the homeowner and she wasn’t used to having strangers helping her. It felt really good.”

Morales, the son of Julie and Ezra Morales, of Burbank, also volunteers in his hometown. He helps out at the rectory at his parish, St. Albert the Great in Burbank. He also has logged service hours at a retirement some.

“I like being a friend to the retired people there because they don’t get a lot of visitors,” he said.

For the Oak Lawn Park District, he helped out with an Easter egg hunt. He’s also planning to volunteer at the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.

Morales said his grandmother, Angela Morales, of Chicago, is his mentor.

“I look up to her a lot because she never judges me and she’s had a hard time,” Morales said. “My grandfather died and she had to raise my dad and his two siblings by herself. She is wise and gives me advice all the time.”

At school, Morales is a member of the soccer team, track team and is treasurer of the National Honor Society.

Next year, he would like to attend the University of Illinois and major in business finance.

“I would like to be a financial advisor. I like money, so working with money and numbers would be something I’d like to do,” he said.

He knows he’ll have to work hard to achieve his dreams.

“If I do all the hard stuff now it will all pay off in the end when I have a career I enjoy,” he said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.