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Petzel: Mother McAuley graduate completes service project in South Africa

Maggie Jordan stands with HlengisPrimary School eighth-grade students Cape Town South Africa. | Supplied Photo

Maggie Jordan stands with Hlengisa Primary School eighth-grade students in Cape Town, South Africa. | Supplied Photo

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Updated: February 7, 2013 6:13AM



Greetings fellow Oak Lawnians and Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays were splendid and many treasured memories were created for your families to enjoy in the future.

As we enter 2013, many of us look to make positive changes or resolutions as a new year begins. Maggie Jordan, however, ended her year with accomplishments and changes for the better.

At just 20 years old, Jordan recently completed a five-month service project in Cape Town, South Africa. A graduate of Mother McAuley High School, she is a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee, who is pursuing an education major to follow her dream to be a high school English teacher.

It was Marquette’s Study Abroad program that brought Jordan to Cape Town.

“Marquette has service trips throughout Europe, but Africa is open to all majors,” Jordan said. “The service trip is a mixture of things, but essentially it’s to help others, as well as assimilate into the community and culture.”

Jordan is the only child of Joann and Brian, so when she brought up the Cape Town service project to her dad, Jordan said her dad gave her the green light “as long as you come back.”

Jordan was one of 18 college students selected for the service project, which started on July 7 and wrapped up in time for her to arrive home on Thanksgiving. Nine of the students were from Marquette, and the remaining nine were from other universities.

“We all shared a house together, and living with the other service students created a family environment,” Jordan said. “We had a huge kitchen table, and we all participated in cooking meals. Kholeka was our residential assistant, and he made sure everything went smoothly in the house.”

Their service site was Hlengisa Primary School, located about 35 minutes from the house the college students shared.

“There were about 30 to 35 students in each class,” Jordan said. “Their primary language is Xhosa, and English is their second language. Grades eight and nine were English, and grade five was earth science.”

Each week during their five-month service project, the students were required to spend two days at the service site and three days attending classes at the University of the Western Cape.

“Pernell was our van driver,” Jordan said. “He drove us to and from the service site and school.”

Part of their service project also included completing an advocacy project based on the service site, which included hearing from community members regarding how to implement and make changes that are sustainable for future years.

“I absolutely loved it,” Jordan said of her trip. “I’d love to go back.”

Jordan said her most memorable moments were “the family dinners around the huge table when we were all family.”

Congratulations to Jordan and her fellow students on a job well done. Her service trip will no doubt have an impact on the Hlengisa students for many years to come.

Celebrity announcements

Happy ninth birthday to Brooke Zwartz from her parents, Debbie and Dan, Blake, Dylan, Shelfee and family. Brandy Turek is celebrating her ninth birthday. Ella Errant sends birthday wishes to her granddaughter, Tessa, who’s turning 10, and also to Tessa’s dad, Kenny, who’s turning 43, from Katrina, their children and family.

Benjamin Hudy’s parents and family wish him a happy 10th birthday. Diana and Scott Harris send their daughter, Hanna, their love on her 13th birthday. Happy birthday to Nick Erdakos, who’s turning 17, from his parents, Dorothy and Max, and sister, Danielle.

Happy 15th birthday to Angelica Cohen from her family. Happy 20th birthday to John Sasala, from his parents and sister Michelle. Janet and Bill Goetz wish their daughter, Emily, a happy 27th birthday.

Aggie and Gene Mark send birthday wishes to their daughter, Nancy Ferrucci, and also to their granddaughter, Lisa Fox, who’s turning 35. Happy birthday to Sharon Barsevick Siple from her husband, Mark, Zachary, and family. Birthday wishes go out to Kathy Novak from Henry and her family.

Linda Walrath’s children, Dan and Jennifer, wish her a happy birthday. Happy birthday to Chris Augle, from his family. Happy birthday to Patrick Petzel (yes, we’re related) from his proud parents and family. Deborah Michicich’s husband, Kevin, and children, Sam and Anna Jane, send her their love on her birthday. Happy birthday to Brian Anderson from his family. Happy birthday to Mike Paluch, from Debbie and their family.

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to Samantha and Frank Stephens who are celebrating their first anniversary.

Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff” going on with your family or within the community.

Call me at (708) 899-9544.

Until next time ...



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