CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – It wasn’t how Cidnee Le’sure expected to start her junior year at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, but it turned out to be a life-changing experience none the less.
Le’sure, who works as a Resident Advisor (RA) at Miramar campus housing, was one of only a couple hundred Islander students living on campus when an evacuation was announced for Aug. 24, ahead of what was then Tropical Storm Harvey. Le’sure evacuated to San Antonio to be with family.
“When I first got home, I was disappointed,” said Le’sure. “Harvey dampened my spirits. I was so ready to welcome my fellow resident students to Miramar, and to finally start taking classes pertaining to my major. Everything I was looking forward to was put on hold.”
During her time away from campus, Le’sure kept in touch with her supervisors at Miramar via social media, and when she saw them post an opportunity to volunteer at the San Antonio Food Bank, she and four of her fellow RA’s who also evacuated to San Antonio jumped at the chance to help out.
“In a strange coincidence, we were scheduled to volunteer at the food bank on Monday, August 28, which should have been our first day of class,” said Le’sure.
During their time at the food bank, the students and their two supervisors sorted out non-perishables donations that were pouring into the non-profit from the San Antonio community.
Now that Le’sure is back on campus – thankful that it was spared serious damage from the storm – she has time to reflect on her experience with evacuating for Hurricane Harvey and look forward to a new semester at A&M-Corpus Christi.
“During this time of crisis, I’ve seen the hashtag ‘Islander Strong’ being used on social media, and it made me realize that we are going to come back even stronger,” said Le’sure. “All of us come from different backgrounds and had different experiences when it comes to Harvey, but I truly believe that Islander Strong is more than just a hashtag – it’s our new way of life.”
The four other Islander RA’s who volunteered alongside Le’sure included Lailah Coble, Marivel Gallegos, Kirstin Robertson and Mitchell Weinkauff. Joining them were their two supervisors at Miramar, Jervic Caparas and Bree Riles.