French Student Pitches in to Help Relay for Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Mary Maraghy, County Line staff writer

As Clay County folks field teams for the upcoming Relays for Life, one teenager should win a diversity recruitment award, if there was such a thing.

Relay for Life is an all-night camp-out walk-a-thon fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. Three relays will be held in Clay County in March and April.

Agethe (pronounced Ah-get) Lamouret, a 16-year-old French foreign exchange student staying in Clay County, is attempting to field a team of teens from France, Turkey, Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Thailand and Poland. The potential recruits are all exchange students participating in the Rotary International Youth Exchange program. They are staying with host families throughout North Florida for the school year. Agethe is the only one staying in Clay County.

The students get together for different group events. Recently, they went to Disney World.

One of Agethe's host moms has been Janet Rodesney, an Orange Park Rotarian and an American Cancer Society volunteer who is passionate and persuasive when it comes to the relays. She thought the students would enjoy getting together and participating in a Relay for Life. She convinced Agethe to try to recruit them. She also sent out e-mails to each of them.

"I thought we could add in community service to their experiences here," Rodesney said. "It's important that kids learn how to do this stuff. They need to know that it's not a free ride out there."

Agethe, a shy girl who is visiting the United States for the first time, said she's never heard of a Relay for Life but she watched some videos of past relays.

"I thought, 'Why not? It sounds fun,' " she said. "It's going to be awesome."

Agethe is attending Ridgeview High School and she said it is more fun and much easier than her high school in France.

"France is very academic. We work all the time. There's no clubs or activities or team sports," said Agethe, who is playing on the soccer team. …