Xavier Magazine

Paddling with Purpose

Drew Peters wants to provide a better future for some New Mexico schoolchildren. So in July, the 1999 graduate kicked off a personal fundraising campaign. His method: paddling a 15-foot canoe on a 290-mile river trek through his home state of Michigan.

The seeds of the trip were sown last school year when Peters volunteered as a teacher at St. Francis School in Lumberton, N.M. The school, which serves about 100 Hispanic and Jicarilla Apache children, survives primarily on grants and donations. “The reading scores are among the lowest in the state, and the math scores are all below average,” he says. “One of the school’s initiatives is to see those scores rise.”

Peters, who now works at the University’s Dorothy Day House, hopes his efforts ultimately bring in the $12,000 needed for a new math program. By November he’d raised almost $6,000.

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