SCC student’s visit to Belize leaves lasting impression

Salem Community College student Jessie S. Keen’s recent goodwill visit to the Central American country of Belize was a life-changing experience.

“I look at life in a completely different way and appreciate the little things more often,” said the Alloway resident.  “As we were delivering food boxes, we went to many different homes with poor living conditions.”

The November trip, sponsored by her church, was led by Ranch Hope’s Jack and Sue Fosbenner.  The 21-member group spent most of its eight days in Belize City, the country’s largest city with a population of about 70,000.  Besides distributing the food boxes, they visited three schools, an orphanage, a youth hostel and a church.  All together, they reached out to over 600 children and teens. 

Keen will graduate in May with an associate degree in health science.  Afterwards, she plans to attend Cooper University's School of Diagnostic Imaging to become a radiology technician and also attend Camden County College for its paramedic program.  Presently, she is an emergency medical technician at Camp Edge and a volunteer with the Alloway Township Ambulance Corps and Fire Company.

She intends to return to Belize in November to continue helping its residents and hopes to visit annually. "I feel as if it's my home away from home."