Student Activist of the Month: Evelyn Frances Brooks
Academy of the Sacred Heart
Photographed by Cheryl Gerber
“I think it’s important to be involved in your community, because you’re able to grow as a person when you’re introduced and influenced by different people. Not only are you affected, but you’re able to use your strengths and talents to help other people,” says Evelyn Frances “Francie” Brooks.
Brooks graduated from the Academy of Sacred Heart this past May and is enrolling at the University of Georgia in the fall. She plans on majoring in education and working in a public school after college, because she wants to become an activist for public education and to show students that they can succeed in school and in their chosen careers.
While she was at Sacred Heart, she was the president of campus ministry and co-president of the community service club and peer support. She helped found the Nicaragua club, where students fundraise for the Amigos for Christ Organization in Chinandega, Nicaragua. Brooks has been part of three mission trips to Nicaragua with Sacred Heart over past summers.
Her most rewarding volunteering experience has been tutoring at the Apple Street Learning Center, where Brooks was able to form relationships with the children. This is where she learned about the public education system in New Orleans, and it was at this moment that she decided that she wanted to be involved with public education once she graduates from college.
“The greatest rewards are the A’s on tests that I’ve helped students study for and the smiles when they finally understand something,” says Brooks. “My time at the mission has given me a sense of dedication to helping others and made me realize that I am happiest when helping others.”
Brooks was always interested in community service and knew as a freshman that it was something she wanted to be involved in. She formed a relationship with Sue Heidel, Sacred Heart community outreach director, and participated in service activities. Heidel encouraged Brooks to take up leadership roles whenever she got the chance.
Brooks wants to continue her mission trips to Nicaragua and hopefully other countries. Right now, she wants to do whatever she can each day, wherever she is, to make someone else’s life easier.