Ackert Shows Franciscan Spirit

Katie Ackert (left) plays with children on her first day in South Africa

Sep 5, 2013

Describing Kathleen Ackert as busy is an understatement. The incoming sophomore at Siena College is majoring in biology, minoring in health studies and Franciscan service and advocacy, and competing on the swimming and diving team. And upon returning home for the summer, she quickly re-packed her bags and flew to South Africa.

Ackert landed in Cape Town, but she left her mark in Johannesburg, where she dedicated 14 days to making friends.

"People always ask you what you're going to do in South Africa, and [my trip leaders] really wanted to break away from that," she said, citing the organizers from Siena's Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy. "We were able to build relationships with people, we did service, [and] it was through talking to people."

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