Mount Pleasant Magazine Sept-Oct 2023

25 | | communities around the world through their mission of service. Senior Emma Bruni recalled a recent trip to Belén, Costa Rica, where the squad distributed bags of essential food to families in need and participated in ministries that benefit women and children. “The goal of these activities is to help them grow in faith and strengthen the bonds between friends and family in the community,” said Bruni. “I think it is important to participate in local and international service projects because they always give me new perspectives, teach me valuable life lessons and help me to form lasting memories.” Through their initiatives, the cheerleaders have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of kindness and compassion. “On a local level, I have found value in mentoring and participating in the lives of the next generation of Charleston youth. Internationally, it was meaningful for me to experience another country and their culture in a stunningly unfiltered way,” Bruni said. Senior Tegan McInnes recalls another rewarding experience with her squad helping the camp goers of Vacation Bible School in Charleston. “We had the privilege to lead a group of kids, play games, art and crafts, science projects, Bible studies and learn about missionaries around the world. It was such a blessing to have the opportunity to be a part of these kids’ journey with Jesus,” said McInnes. “I hope that the Charleston community recognizes that our squad does more than just cheer! We are so fortunate to live in an affluent area, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve outside our comfort zone.” PALMETTO CHRISTIAN ACADEMY The mission of Palmetto Christian Academy’s Cheer Program is to glorify God by following his guidance in transforming lives through servant leadership, academic excellence and accountability, developing spiritual growth and promoting school spirit and excellence in athletics. This season the varsity and junior varsity squads of PCA will spread school pride and serve downtown Charleston’s homeless and urban population through the Hot Dog Ministry. The Hot Dog Ministry was started in 2008 by a group of College of Charleston students on a mission to share God’s love through gospel, prayer and delicious meals including pizza, lasagna and of course, hot dogs. “My belief is that service projects are important, and an opportunity for the girls to enrich their lives,” said PCA’s varsity coach Megan Stuckey. “As a coach, my ‘why’ our town Lucy Beckham High School’s senior cheerleaders Emma Bruni and Tegan McInness distributed bags of essential food to families in need on a service mission to Costa Rica.