By Krista Corbello and Mia Bordlee, Youth Programs Co-Directors
Sixty-two high school students, college students, and PULSE staff members from the Acadiana, New Orleans, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, and even Orange, TX areas gathered at Camp Istrouma in Greenwell Springs last weekend.
Students came from homeschool groups as well as Southside High School, Mount Carmel, Academy of Our Lady, Zachary High School, Catholic High School, Basile High School, Brother Martin, Barbe, North Vermilion, LSU, UL-Lafayette, LSU-E, and Louisiana College.
On Friday night student MC’s Darrin Nixon (Barbe) and Bailey Mannina (UL-Laf) kicked off the event with an icebreaker game that got students excited about the Immersion Weekend.
Friday’s first Pro-Life Culture presentation offered students a basic understanding of the unborn, human value, abortion procedures, and the diversity that can be found in the pro-life movement. Afterwards, students were introduced to their small groups and hyped up to play our original Pro-Life Game of Games! With relay races, chants, and silly competitions, our fun pro-life community was off to a great start!
Saturday was a full day of Pro-Life Persuasion training, discussing Pro-Life Politics, touring the Woman’s New Life Center, Pro-Life Activism training, and looking at societal roots of abortion like the hook-up culture and the need for balanced relationships, along with separate guys and girls sessions. The long day of education was broken up with small group meetings, free time on Istrouma’s beautiful outdoor grounds with its lake and canoes, and our famous PULSE Coffee House Talent Show and dance party in the evening.
On Sunday morning students journeyed from the intellectual understanding of abortion to the emotional side of it with our Impact of Abortion testimonies, including Marcia Schexnaider from Life After Choice, Dustin Bertrand from God Made Self-Driven, and Youth Programs Co-Director Krista Corbello. Each shared their stories of abortion in their lives and in the lives of their family members. Students had time to ask the panelists questions, including, “What is one thing you would change about society?” Answers included, “A world without abortion,” “A world that values and upholds the dignity of life,” and “A world based on selflessness.”
At our final commission ceremony, students shared what their activism would be once they left PULSE, including doing sidewalk chalk, graphic design, starting a pro-life club on their campus, hosting diaper drives, and creating pro-life art. Many students expressed their desire to join us for PULSE Leadership Institute, too!
Want to know just what PULSE meant to students who attended? Here’s what Zach Guy had to say: “It was life-changing!”