Teenage role models seek world perspective
SUMMIT COUNTY – A team of 20 Summit County Youth teens are making plans for a trip with international impact.After talking about love and “plotting goodness in the world,” the high school juniors decided to take action, said Phil Gallagher, one of the directors of the youth group. They are raising money for a trip to Guatemala where they will build houses with Habitat for Humanity and visit orphanages in the country where 75 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line and 10 percent live on less than $1 a day.”As we’ve gotten older, we wanted to go after something bigger. … This summer, we wanted to do something different, have an impact and see the world,” said Summit County Youth (SCY) member Courtney Krause.
And they are taking initiative to make that happen. While seven students received scholarships from Habitat for Humanity for the trip, the others are working to raise the $1,700 needed. Baby-sitting, summer jobs and organizing a poker night and silent auction are a few of the ways they are working to pay for their first mission trip since they became involved with SCY.The teens got together when they were in elementary school. Throughout the years, they have worked to be role models in their age group, and while they’ve been in high school they’ve worked with younger groups of SCY.It’s building a community, a support group where “kids feel welcome,” explained member Holly Callan.
“We focus on the power of love … how decisions as a community affect the world … what we can do to help,” she said. “Be who you are. Love everyone else and be welcome.”SCY member Brian Joyce added that they work to “eliminate the stereotype that teenagers are troublemakers.”The 20 teens, youth directors and their baby, will be on their way to Guatemala City with Habitat for Humanity July 8. After arriving, the team will travel to Coban where they will spend four days working with local volunteers to build homes.
Then, SCY members will take a couple days to play with children at a nearby orphanage and a day exploring the country before returning to the capitol to fly home eight days after arriving.”We will see poverty that I’m sure most of us have never seen before,” Krause said. It may be a bit of shock, she continued. “We’re staying in a place that said ‘running water sometimes.'”Joyce added, “It will give us insight to other worlds, other cultures.”-Lory Pounder
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