Every Student Has a Story: Jenna Bartholomew

Every Student Has a Story: Jenna Bartholomew

Jenna Bartholomew is a senior this year at DAHS. She is an active member of the Presbyterian Church in East Palestine and the youth group LYFT which is led by her father, Pastor Phil Bartholomew. Over the years, Jenna has participated in many mission trips with her youth group and church. The mission trips, which last about a week, are usually to North or South Carolina near the coast where they stay in churches; this way, the group is able to visit the beach in the evenings after their work is done.

According to Jenna, Mission Trips can include any of the following activities: serving at soup kitchens, helping out at homeless or battered women’s shelters, cleaning up public parks, and more. Members of the group usually plan a few months in advance what projects they are going to do based on the needs of that particular area. The main project that is completed on every mission trip is building a handicap-access ramp for someone in need so they can access their home easier. Over the years, they have built ramps for military veterans, victims of accidents, and elderly who all needed some kind of assistance getting into their houses. The last day when the whole group finishes the ramp and the recipient uses it for the first time is always a very special moment, she says.

Jenna’s favorite mission trip was a few years ago to Sunrise Presbyterian Church in South Carolina. They stayed in a really nice church that was right down the street from the beach, and they had a great group that year. She also got to help clean up a battered women’s shelter, which she says was a sobering and unique experience. Actually, she counts the shelter as one of the most meaningful things she has ever done on a mission trip, saying that it was so nice to bring a little joy to these women. Some of her best memories include interacting with the people she helps, along with memories made with friends over the week. Mission trips are always a really fun and meaningful time, and she would encourage anyone to participate in one if they had the chance.

When asked what she would say to someone who thinks that mission trips can only be to other countries, Jenna said: “I think there is always something to be done anywhere. Even around here there are little projects that we do through my youth group LYFT. You don’t have to look very far for a way to help someone”. Jenna does think that she would go on a Mission Trip to a third-world country if the opportunity arose. As for how many trips she has actually been on, she says she has been going since she was a kid and that there are too many to count! One thing is for sure, though: Jenna will be taking mission trips and looking for ways to help people for the rest of her life.