The Academy of Our Lady of Good Counsel Academy senior Kara Magoolaghan could have celebrated her 16th birthday last year in a conventional fashion.
But instead of a Sweet 16 party, Magoolaghan used her milestone to give back to others.
The Yonkers resident raised $400 from her family and friends to purchase about 50 bags of cement for a primary school which was recently constructed in Ghana.
“I really wanted to benefit the world community,” Magoolaghan said.
But Magoolaghan did more than just donate the cement that was used in the school’s bricks. She, her mother, Joan, and her god sister, Hana Koob, traveled to the Town of Ho in the Volta region of Ghana to not only view the progress of the school, but to meet and help teach the community’s young children. “I felt like it like it would be more of an experience” than just having the cement sent to Africa,” Magoolaghan said.
Magoolaghan said on the night they arrived in Ghana they could not immediately travel to Ho because the roads in the area were unlit, unsafe and potentially dangerous, so she and her family members were forced to stay at the airport for the night.
Despite the difficult economic circumstances of their town, Magoolaghan said she, her mother, and step sister has a very positive relationship with the youths who were friendly and welcoming.
But the family did more than just meet with the students; they made and hauled bricks for the school, which was completed earlier this fall.
A Chinese orphan, Magoolaghan came to the United States when she was nine- months-old, when she was adopted by her mother who was single at the time, but later married Lawrence McElroen, a single father with three sons of his own.
Magoolaghan has an active life beyond her academics. She is a member of the very successful figure skating group, Team Image, which has finished first, third and fourth in Eastern Sectional Champion competitions. She is a member of Good Counsel’s Latin Club and has two part-time jobs.