Langston Hughes Academy

I spent a day while in New Orleans at Langston Hughes Academy (Elementary School) talking with students and working in the library with the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. LHA was founded in 2007 and has built their foundation on the words of the poet Langston Hughes who spoke about overcoming adversity (discrimination, low expectations, unfavorable beginnings) to follow their dreams. The school mantra is “Dream it. Do it. Be it.” to persuade scholars to follow the cycle of setting goals, working hard, and becoming their dream”.

My first stop of the day was to read a book called “Stephanie’s Ponytail” to the Loyola 4th grade class. The book teaches a lesson of following the beat of your own drum despite the opinions of others. This lead to a dialogue about the importance of self confidence and how to overcome bullying from all angles.

From there I toured the Dreamkeeper Garden – an amazing environment of flowers, vegetables, and even animals that is nutured by the scholars. I was able to see a class so proud of their plants and the habitat they have created. I could see very clearly that they take so much pride in their responsibilities and their role in the growth of the garden.

My last task of the day was working in the library of Langston Hughes Academy. They had recently received a donation of a large volume of books to help build up their existing database. While this is indeed a blessing, it takes a significant amount of time to sort through each book, determine its quality, sort them into categories, and catalog them into the database. I joined one of the Notre Dame volunteers to help make a dent in the new inventory.

It was such a fun day to be around students and witness their excitement when they came across a “princess”. I love sharing that dreams can come true with hard work, dedication, and a kind soul.
Creating some open dialogue while reading “Stephanie’s Ponytail”

A group photo with the Loyola class (we were all very excited LOL)

Standing with the mural of LHA

Students working in the Dreamkeeper Garden

With my dear friend and Notre Dame Mission Volunteer, Lauren. Thank you for a wonderful day!

Seek Happiness,



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