By Jennifer Toland, Telegram & Gazette Writer
Worcester, Mass. - Clark senior Kellee Kosiorek accompanied Amanda Mundt on a trip to Haiti in January 2011 and during the days they spent together, Kosiorek got to see her friend and former field hockey teammate's mind and heart at work.
Mundt was in the planning stages of the summer school (Lekol Dete) she would begin running just a few months later for third-sixth graders in Les Cayes, a town in southwestern Haiti. The project was funded through Mundt's winning proposal to the Davis Projects for Peace Foundation, and the school brought together Restaveks, Haitian children who are indentured servants, work all day for no pay and are often abused by their host families, and free children in a common learning environment.
Mundt's goal, as she wrote in a chronicle for the Clark website, was to break down prejudices and, through the school, help the children to remain "all one."
"Amanda was one of the people who never wanted to be the center of attention," Kosiorek said. "All she wanted to do was help other people."
The 22-year-old Mundt — along with her father, Kenneth, and Clark professor David Bell — was in Haiti this summer continuing her noble efforts with Haiti's children when she was tragically killed in an auto accident. Her aunt, Diane Mundt, and Bell's daughter, Meagan, also died in the crash.
Mundt, a three-year member of the field hockey team and a Making a Difference Scholar at Clark, had been on a leave of absence from school and working as an intern for the Boston office of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. She was scheduled to return to Clark this fall and graduate in May 2014.
The Cougars paid tribute to Mundt before their first game of the season and are continuing to honor her memory by wearing — with great pride — purple (her favorite color) bracelets with the Creole words "nou tout se youn," which translates to "We Are All One," as well as Mundt's initials, AKM.
"She was just special," Clark coach Linda Wage said. "People like Amanda are few and far between in that they do live their dreams and they do make a difference."
The bracelets are being sold at Clark home field hockey games and by contacting Wage at [email protected] All proceeds will be donated to Opportunities for Communities, Inc. (OfC), a nonprofit education organization based in Amherst, Mundt's hometown.
Mundt's dad was one of the founders of OfC and Mundt served on the advisory board since the organization's inception in 2009.
Mundt, an international development and social change major, was dedicated to the Haitian children, providing them with proper education and improving their lives.
"Her eyes would light up when she talked about the kids down there," Clark senior Chris Kozlik, also a former teammate of Mundt's, said.
Mundt was in Haiti in January 2010 and left the island just hours before the devastating earthquake struck. Nineteen-year-old Britney Gengel of Rutland, who also devoted her life to serving the children of Haiti, died in that catastrophe.
Mundt played in 36 games for the Cougars, and the program is obviously still reeling from her death. To see her dream realized in Haiti, though, has been inspiring for her former teammates, coaches and friends, and her hopefulness, passion and selflessness continue to guide them.
"I remember a game we had two years ago against Babson," Wage said. "Babson was having a great game and we just didn't have it together. Amanda, who had a knee injury at the time, went out there and she was doing so much and standing out as the best player on our team and I remember saying to myself, 'What a heart.' She always gave it her all no matter what it was, and she never sought the limelight. She did it for others."