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Looks Bright: A’Lantae Morris guides children, sees future in nursing

LAPLACE — Rising East St. John senior A’Lantae Morris is compassionate and loving, with a heart built for taking care of others.

She’s finishing out her second year as a counselor-in-training this month for the St. John the Baptist Parish Parks and Recreation summer camp in LaPlace, a position she’s thoroughly enjoyed.

“The children are adorable, and I really love them so much,” Morris said. “My favorite part is spending time with them on field trips to the zoo, the movies and swimming because not all children get that opportunity to go out and have fun.”

After attending the summer camp for many years, Morris became a counselor-in-training at age 16 and was assigned to oversee the 9-year-old group.

With more experience under her belt this year, she is charged with supervising the energetic 4-year-olds. She cares for her group from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, directing children down the hallways of Lake Pontchartrain Elementary and guiding them through themed arts and crafts projects.

A’Lantae Morris shows off some of the projects she uses to guide 4-year-old campers at St. John the Baptist Parish Parks and Recreation summer camp in LaPlace, which runs Monday through Thursday at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary.

Some days, she’s asked to assist with the older groups.

Camp supervisor Irene Burl said Morris goes above and beyond whatever she is asked, often performing tasks outside of her expected duties.

“She’s unique,” Burl said. “It’s unusual, at that age, to be so compassionate with the students. She’s dedicated, punctual and responsible, and she always gives it 100 percent.”

Morris also stands out in her peaceful demeanor, according to Burl.

“She always keeps a smile,” Burl said. “I’ve never seen her get upset about anything.”

To keep centered, Morris tells herself to continuously work hard and never give up.

This year is her last at the summer camp, but she’s turning her sights to college with a goal to pursue nursing at Southeastern Louisiana University.

A’Lantae Morris, third from right, helps supervise an older group of campers including, from left, C.J. Ajos, Tracy Johnson, Ramaya Dawson, Kaeli Branch, Kylah Mixon and Kaylin Watkins.

“I could say it runs in my family,” Morris said. “I like to help out with people who are sick. I help my grandmother a lot with taking her meds and making sure she gets in bed.”

When she’s not taking care of children or family members, Morris enjoys playing softball and dancing.

She’s a veteran player for the East St. John Lady Cats softball team known for patrolling the outfield.

Morris plans to join the East St. John Sugarettes for her senior year, as her dance experience extends back to when she was 4 years old. Over the years, she’s traveled to competitive dance competitions with Aimee’s Dance Academy and Nola Dolls Dance Team.

Morris is the daughter of Lakeisha Morris and Randy King. She said family members Cindy Johnson, Barrie Johnson, Lee Johnson and Betty King are instrumental in her life.