In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Le Jardin Academy helps students explore their passion outside the classroom with Impact Term

Sponsored by Le Jardin Academy

Le Jardin Academy provides students with an array of learning experiences that extend well beyond the classroom. 2019 was the launch of Impact Term, where students spend a week without walls and select from an expansive list of study options, including trips to Laos and China, sailing across the Hawaiian islands, and more.

One service trip took a group of Le Jardin Academy students to Laos in Asia for two weeks to help a local village. Heavy rain often flooded the village, so students made cement to help strengthen a wall and prevent future flooding. Students also taught villagers English and helped build a boat ramp for a community relying mainly on water transportation.

Maya Martinez, a senior at Le Jardin, is one of the students who went to Laos. She says it’s an experience she’ll never forget. “A lot of things that you read in textbooks are just facts and they don’t really sink in,” she says. “But when you’re actually going to another country and actually experiencing the lives or ways that people live… you understand it deeply. You truly learn what it is.”

Emma Schaberg, another senior at Le Jardin, also went on the Laos service trip. She says she immediately noticed the difference between life in Laos and the life she knows in Hawaii, noting that the youth there work to feed their village and families by farming rice.

“It’s important to experience learning outside the classroom because when you’re in school, you learn about a little bit of everything,” Schaberg says. With Impact Term, she says students are able to focus on what they’re passionate about and take it a step further.

After graduation, Schaberg will be attending the University of Washington in Seattle and Martinez will be going to Chapman University in California. “I learned the importance of a small community and how little changes can make a bigger impact for the people around you,” Schaberg said, thinking back on her time at the school. She plans to major in Environmental Studies and promote sustainability in the business field.

For more information: lejardinacademy.org, or on Facebook and Instagram: @lejardinacademy