The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

Students and staff travel internationally during spring break

As the curtains draw to a close after an exciting spring break, the memories fostered within the school sponsored trips will undoubtedly leave a permanent mark within the hearts and minds of Bellarmine students and staff. 

This spring break, a number of students embarked on a special program, Courts for Kids, venturing to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. 

In addition, students and staff were given the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the history and art present in Italy, ultimately allowing them to first-handedly experience the multitude of cultures present in this world. Here’s what they have to say about their experience.

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Costa Rica

Kiley Hentchell (student):

My experience in Puerto Jimenez was life changing and most definitely the most special thing I have ever done. I felt fulfilled in a way like no other; it truly unlocked a new side of the world that I don’t think I ever would’ve been exposed to. The life lessons I gained are continuing to come into my life even weeks after the trip has ended. There were times when I would look around and see the people around me more drained and tired than ever, but at the same time, were so full of life that it was radiant. I have never experienced anything like that. Even though it was the hardest week of my life, I will forever praise this trip. It was incredible.

Dominican Republic

Liam Cassidy (student):

Our spring break in the Dominican Republic was incredible. We spent the first few days building the court and the rest relaxing and bonding with locals. It was honestly one of the coolest bonding experiences I’ve ever had. I’m very grateful for the experiences and opportunities I had in the Dominican Republic.


Allison Scanlin (teacher):

I think we had a great time in Italy. We had the chance to experience so many different things. We experienced Easter with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square, and History with a tour of the Colosseum and Forum. Also, we checked out so much art with our guided tours of amazing museums and visits to churches. A personal highlight for me was sharing the Jesuit churches in Rome with our students, and pointing out that St Robert Bellarmine’s tomb was in our midst! I’m glad we had the chance to make Italian food in Florence and eat a bunch of gelato as well. Lastly, we ended our time being hosted by students and Jesuits from the Instituto Massimo who visited us in the fall. It was awesome to be warmly welcomed into their homes and their school. A gift of sharing our Jesuit school mission and identity.

Bong Bong Barro (student):

The Italy trip was such a surreal, amazing experience and it was better than I expected. Our first few days in Roma we visited many churches and museums including the Vatican and we had attended Easter mass, where I was about ten feet away from the pope when he was riding the popemobile greeting the crowd. The next three days up north in Firenze was a wonderful trip as well. 

Our last four nights back in Roma was the highlight of the trip for me, as we stayed with our host families. My host sister, Memmi, was one of the Italian students who visited Bellarmine for those two weeks in September and was in my government class. My family was the furthest from Rome in a town northwest called Cerveteri, in a suburb named Valcanneto. I am grateful that I got the chance to experience the countryside living of Italy, and my family was so welcoming and loving. The home cooked lunches and dinners Mamma Starnoni whipped up was gas— I still think about the carbonara. We also got to attend Instituto Massimo for a day and that was the first time I was immensely grateful for American high school… imagine this: 40-50 minute classes, only two 5-10 minute breaks (no lunch), having to wear uniforms everyday, and having your phone stowed away in a bin until dismissal. Was it a nice experience to attend an Italian, Jesuit high school for a day? Yes. But I do not know how I would survive. Nonetheless it was a stunning and unforgettable experience. I can’t say it enough. I am definitely coming back to Italy.

International experiences were seemingly a huge success and readers can find more information about their trip on the Courts for Kids Facebook account. Overall, these spring break trips provided a chance to serve the larger community, travel the world, and bond with friends new and old. Make sure to look out for more trips like these, reach out with more questions, and take advantage of the amazing opportunities that Bellarmine has to offer.

Students share photos from their respective spring break trips. Photo courtesy of Bellarmine Facebook





About the Contributors
Alice Malebranche
Alice Malebranche, Reporter
Alice Malebranche is a part of the class of 2025 and is honored to be on the Journalism Staff for the 23-24 school year. Spending most of her week on campus, she participates in Bellarmine lacrosse and golf, as well as Link Crew, Campus Ministry, and a variety of clubs. Outside of school, you can find Alice playing club lacrosse, watching the sunset at Chambers Bay, playing guitar, and taking her dog for a walk. She’s excited to contribute some pieces to the Bellarmine Lion this year!
Ariana Randquist
Ariana Randquist, Reporter

Ariana Randquist is a junior this year and is super excited to be a part of the Lion’s Journalism staff! She is involved in many clubs at Bellarmine as a member of Lion Outreach, KCC, APICA, co-founder of the Letters for Rose club, Capstone, and more. Her favorite activities include spending quality time with her family and friends, being outdoors, cooking and baking, reading, and listening to music!