Senior profile: Zack Demetri

Baylor University, Double Major in Business and Journalism

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Senior profile: Zack Demetri

photo courtesy of Zack Demetri

photo courtesy of Zack Demetri

photo courtesy of Zack Demetri

Anthony sits on his hero’s shoulders.

The boy he clings to locks his arms firmly around Anthony’s fragile legs, the
steady grip erasing the slightest chance of falling.

His smile fills his small face. It reflects the brightness of the Nicaraguan sun shining down on him. He looks happy, at peace.

Because Anthony now has a home, and Zack Demetri, senior, helped give it to him.

When Zack was a freshman, his dad took him on a mission trip to Mexico. The first thing he said when he came home was, “I want to go back.” Since then, Zack has made every effort to do service in the countries that need it most.

“Zack loves people,” Eric Van Rees, Greentree Community Church youth pastor, said. “He uses that love to help those who are broken.”

Van Rees led Zack’s youth group on a trip to Nicaragua the past three summers, where they worked with the organization El Ayudante, or “The Helper,” to build houses for those in need. That is where Zack met Anthony. Before Zack arrived, Anthony lived in a house smaller than most American bedrooms.

Now, a picture of Zack hangs in Anthony’s new home.

Peggy Demetri, Zack’s mom, said that she first noticed Zack’s ability to serve others when their family was living in Cusco, Peru. That is where Zack met a boy named Julio Cesar, who lived every day begging for his next meal.

But Zack took him under his wing, telling his parents when Julio’s shoes had holes and making sure he avoided broken glass in the street. Eventually, it was like Julio was a part of the family.

“Those were the first glimpses I had of [Zack’s] compassion,” Peggy Demetri, Zack’s mom, said. “I feel so thankful, because I feel as though each of my boys feel called to help the world in any way that they can.”

Zack said the global experiences he’s had during high school have made a career as a youth pastor a real possibility for him. Peggy said she is proud of the way he has developed his own belief system and found a calling he loves.

“Our job is to do what we are called to do with excellence in ways that speak about our faith and our character,” Peggy said. “[Zack] is going to have opportunities to make a difference.”

For a little Peruvian boy with holes in his shoes, Zack made a difference. For a little Nicaraguan boy with a blanket for a bed and an enormous smile, Zack made a difference.

Going forward, Zack wants to do the same for everyone.

“Don’t settle,” Zack said. “Just keep pushing. Once you get to where your dream is there is just so much more happiness. So I’m going to keep pushing and follow my dream. Because I have to give back to the world.”