For our spring trip, the ninth grade class had the amazing opportunity of going to Salt Lake City to help various organizations such as: Crossroads, the youth resource center, headstart, and Future Scholars of Africa. Crossroads is an organization that supplies the homeless with food and necessities such as: toothbrushes, pet food, soap, and lotion. At crossroads, we cleaned their facility and learned a great deal about what it's really like trying to sustain a healthy life for yourself and your family while living on a low wage salary. After learning a bit about crossroads and helping out a bit, we went to The Youth Center. The Youth Center is a facility where homeless teens in Salt Lake can come for shelter, food, clothing, and showering. Working with the Youth Center was an extremely eye opening experience for the entire class because we saw people our own age in such a different position than us. This made us truly understand how incredibly lucky we are. It really made us put everything we have into perspective and in turn made us feel incredibly grateful for everything in our lives. On our last day in Salt Lake we visited various Head Start locations. Headstart is an organization that helps refugee families get their children into school and settled into their new lives. Here we worked with children all day from dancing and singing, to playing outside on the playground. The night before we left we spoke to two refugees who started the program called Future Scholars of Africa (FSA). Our class was extremely taken back by the stories that were told and the inspiring speeches they gave us about giving back. After listening to them talk we decided it was important for us to give back to them and help in any way we could. One of the ways FSA tries to give back is by raising 5,000 dollars each year to help refugees from Africa get enrolled in college and take care of financial burdens associated with critical needs. Upon our return to Sun Valley we have started a Go Fund me page to help them reach their goal. In addition to providing a space for refugees to gather and connect, FSA provides these college students with stability, encouragement for their future education, help with books and lab fees, language skills, job applications, cost of food and rent, job interview training, college/career mentoring, and legal council. On behalf of the freshman class, we were very grateful for this experience and we hope we can help FSA reach their goal.
Article written by Saba Grossman ‘22