Looks Bright: Hill, Champagne set example in, out of classroom

Published 12:13 am Saturday, August 8, 2015

LAPLACE — Children and teenagers who attended camps at St. Charles Catholic High School this summer may have recognize friends Brittney Champagne and Lela Hill, who have been busy over the past couple of months volunteering for the school’s camps and preparing for their senior years.

Champagne, the daughter of Jay and Rhea Champagne, helped organize and facilitate SCC’s Cheerleading Mini Camp, and said the experience gave her an opportunity to exercise leadership.

“Witnessing the relationship between St. Charles and the Catholic elementary schools and community provided for an uplifting experience of which I am proud to say I was a part of,” she said. “I am exceedingly appreciative that St. Charles offers such worthwhile opportunities for its students and the children of the River Parishes.”

Champagne, who scored a 31 on the ACT and has a 4.91 GPA, said she didn’t always love school.

“My parents knew my potential,” she said, adding they encouraged her to do her best.

Champagne has soared academically at SCC, where she takes honors, dual enrollment and advanced placement classes. She plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and major in pre-pharmacy, and then later study at the University of Louisiana at Monroe to obtain her graduate degree in pharmacy.

“I plan to make a career working in a hospital as a pharmacist,” Champagne said.

At SCC, Champagne has earned numerous awards and accolades, including perfect attendance, Principal’s List and recognition in the U.S. Achievement Academy 2014 National Awards for Language Arts. She has participated in district and state literary rallies annually since her freshman year, and is a member of the National Honors Society, Science Club, Student Council and Beta Club.

Athletically, Champagne has been a cheerleader since ninth grade and will serve as co-captain of the squad in her senior year. She said attending high school has helped shape another part of her life.

“SCC has really helped me with my faith,” said Champagne, a parishioner at Ascension of Our Lord.

She has participated in World Youth Day and Louisiana’s Pro-Life March for three years, and she has also volunteered at AOL, nursing homes and the St. John Animal Shelter.

With 10 years of piano experience, six years of guitar experience, nine years of dancing experience at Dance Unlimited and Aimee’s Dance Academy and six years of tumbling, Champagne enjoys keeping a busy schedule.

Hill, the daughter of Claude and Juanita Hill, understands what it’s like to have a busy schedule.

Hill volunteered at SCC’s volleyball mini camp this summer, and said the experience is something she is proud to have been a part of.

“The girls appeared to be having a wonderful time, whether they were playing a game, cheering on their friends or dancing to music during the breaks,” she said of the camp, which was offered for the first time this year.

Hill, who scored a 31 on the ACT and has an unweighted GPA of 4.0, plans to attend college for a pre-med track in order to one day practice as a pediatrician.

She is a member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams at SCC, where she has been recognized extensively for her athletic pursuits, including lettering in basketball as a freshman and being named volleyball MVP her junior year.

Hill has participated in numerous summer leagues for volleyball, softball and basketball, and this summer she attended an Auburn University volleyball camp. Participating in athletics has taught her compromise, she said, because “you have to make decisions as a team and work out decisions together that meet everyone’s goals.”

Honors classes, college dual enrollment courses and advanced placement work highlight Lela’s academic work. She is a mainstay on the Principal’s List and a member of the Beta Club, Spanish Club, Science Club, Student Council and Mu Alpha Theta.

Hill serves as an SCC ambassador, and her list of accomplishments include being named a nominee for the 2014 National Student Leadership Conference, the 2015 People to People Leadership Summit, the Washington Youth summer on the Environment, the Youth Nations Program and the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine.

A strong family unit, Hill said, greatly contributed to her success.

“They push me to stay focused,” she said of her parents. “They molded me into a person who loves to learn.”

She and her younger brother are competitive about their grades, something Hill laughs and calls a friendly competition.

“He pushes me,” Hill said, adding she and her brother are constantly comparing grades and reports to see who can outscore each other.

Hill said she and her brother have their sights set on achievements outside of the classroom as well.

“We want to be people who make an impact in life,” she said.