Students Serve Communities Over Spring Break

TYRA PAYER | PHOTO COURTESY Students from across the country sacrifice their spring breaks to volunteer on Pay It Forward Tours, sponsored by STLF.
TYRA PAYER | PHOTO COURTESY
Students from across the country sacrifice their spring breaks to volunteer on Pay It Forward Tours, sponsored by STLF.

As the North Dakota State community prepares for a week filled with sun and fun, one campus group says it’s important to remind people that college students do more with their free time than party and relax.

Students from across the country will once again participate in the Pay It Forward Tour, a nine-day spring break volunteer road trip, this spring break.

Over the next few weeks, over 2,000 students from more than 30 universities will descend upon communities across the nation to volunteer their time and effort.

A student-group-turned-nonprofit called Students Today Leaders Forever sponsors the tour.

Eighty students from Fargo will leave campus in two buses to volunteer at a botanical garden, a wellness center for people with physical disabilities and other outdoor recreational parks, among other places.

One bus will make its final stop in Atlanta, Ga., and the other bus will stop in Washington, D.C.

The Atlanta bus will take its time getting to Georgia, making the following stops: Omaha, Neb.; Springfield, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans, La.; and Mobile, Ala.

The other bus has a travel itinerary including: Madison, Wis.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Butler, Pa.; Hoboken, N.J.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and finally Washington, D.C.

At the end of the week, the group will meet with six other buses in Atlanta and D.C. to do one large-group service project before students head back home.

The tour groups will be sleeping on floors, exploring the city and participating in leadership and service activities at each location.

Whitney Hansen, a freshmen studying nursing at NDSU, said she is excited to go on the Atlanta trip.

“Excited is an understatement,” Hansen said. “I am looking forward to it more and more every day as it gets closer to our departure. I am excited I get this opportunity to meet new people and I hope to gain a new perspective on people living in different communities other than my own.”

The idea for the group was sparked in a college dorm room in 2003. STLF has grown exponentially into the organization it is today with 321,000 hours served so far.

The mission of STLF is revealing leadership through service, relationships and action. The vision of the group is to energize generations of leaders who serve their community.

It’s not too late for students to go on the spring break tour. A few spots are open, and students can sign up by Friday morning.

The STLF chapter at NDSU was founded in 2006, and this will be the ninth year sending out buses.

Students can join the organization by coming to STLF meetings at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in Sudro 21.

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