BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh student-athletes are continuing their strong work with Student-Athletes Leading Social Change (SALSC), highlighted by the third-annual “Jail Bail” Phone-A-Thon held last Friday (Jan. 20) in Taylor Gym. Angelo DiGiacinto (swimming) and Liz Lucas (softball) are this year’s leaders while a number of additional student-athletes are heavily involved as well. The Mountain Hawks are raising funds for a trip to Kenya this summer where they will help build a school and provide a clean water system for a village.
DiGiacinto and Lucas along with Jessica Miller (field hockey) and Athletics Leadership Coordinator Julie Sterrett traveled to Ecuador last summer where they used money raised to build a school for the indigenous people.
“Our goal is to raise money to donate to a village in the Maasai Mara region in Kenya where students from Lehigh will be assisting in the building of a school and providing a clean water system,” said DiGiacinto. “We have students coming in from across the campus who are in ‘jail’ and to bail out, they have to raise 50 dollars from friends and family members. They have the opportunity to call and send out an email saying how to donate. This is a great opportunity to raise a lot of money in a short period of time.”
Two years ago, former women’s basketball standout Erica Prosser spearheaded an initiative to raise funds and build a school in Kenya. She then went to a small village and helped build a school for the local community. Prosser spent 10 days there and along with 14 other student-athletes from SALSC, constructed a school using sand, cement, water and bricks.
In the end, the Phone-A-Thon is always one of the biggest events of the year. For DiGiacinto and Lucas, experiencing Ecuador last summer gives them better perspective going through the fundraising process this time around.
“Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect before the trip,” said DiGiacinto. “I knew the money and the work I was doing was going towards a great cause, but actually experiencing the building of the classroom and seeing the village and how much they appreciated our work was just an eye-opening experience.
“It puts all of the work this year into context,” he continued. “We’re all passionate about this. For everyone on the trip, it was a once in a lifetime event and it really changes your life for the better.”
“This event is great and it’s really awesome that we can make it real,” said Lucas. “Last year, we didn’t know what it was about because none of us had been back to actually say ‘it was great’. So it’s nice that the three of us who went are still heavily involved. It’s more personal this time around.”
Those who missed Friday’s Phone-A-Thon can still donate online at www.salsc.org. To donate, please click here (be sure to specify your donation is for Lehigh University). Donations are due by Feb. 1.