Foley campers have an astounding sense of empathy and a desire to help others — unsurprisingly, that doesn’t end when camp does. Lessons of love and understanding stick with campers and staff long after they’ve packed up their water skis.
One young woman who truly demonstrates the power of a big heart is Julia, a longtime Foley camper, soccer star, and traveler. Driven by her faith and passion for serving others, she has spent the past few summers traveling abroad to Zambia on mission trips where she gets the opportunity to be immersed in Zambian culture.
“My favorite experiences would have to be with the kids,” says Julia. “I love going to Saint Anthony’s, the rural orphanage, and playing with the children there. The connections you make with them are unforgettable, and I go back each year to find them again.”
While she enjoys her time in Zambia, Julia often finds the poverty and hardship experienced by the people she meets to be difficult to process. The availability of food and medical care is much lower than what we see on a daily basis, and Julia credits the experience for truly opening her eyes to people who face different, harsher realities.
“It is heartbreaking to see how hard the Zambian people work while still not having enough to provide for their families.”
Inspired by her trips to Zambia, Julia plans to continue a life of faith and service throughout college and beyond, and her volunteer efforts can be seen back home in Minnesota, too. She is a student core leader at her church, where she and others volunteer for such causes as Feed My Starving Children, Mary’s Place, and Dorothy Day Center. As a passionate athlete, Julia shares her love for soccer by working with The Sennah Foundation, which uses soccer to empower at-risk youth.
Seeing how Foley campers grow and change the lives of others outside of camp is an absolute joy. After all, growing grit and investigating our independence gives us all the unique ability to build others up in the process, too.