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Marissa Peterson

Virginia High School

I always look forward to big event times, and my friends and I were anxious for this mini trip. You meet so many people, whether it's just kids from other schools you never met before, or the little kids you help out. Bonding and getting to know each other by grocery shopping or having a pool party was all a great time. But, what was even better, was helping out and making a dinner for the families who appreciate it more than we know. Meeting new kids and learning their stories gives you a new look at life, and what we take for granted; in both places we helped out actually. Having a snack time, playing games, or learning what everyday life is like for those we helped is also touching. When we left the new friend and we make their day, but probably won't see them again. The whole trip was fun and a great experience through everything and I can't wait for next year!

July 2016


Andrew Dale

Mountain Iron/Buhl High School

The trip this year was a shorter one, but I feel we made a huge difference and that we learned a ton!  The first thing we did was stop at the Cloquet Super One and bought all the groceries to make a meal for the families in need at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH).  When we arrived at the RMH, the fist thing we did was unload the groceries and started preparing the meal.  We washed and cut fruit, baked cookies, and grilled burgers and chicken.  It felt really good to help the families in need.  After we served dinner, we went to check in at our hotel and had a little pool party, hung out and played board games.

The next morning, we woke up bright and early, and headed to the Salvation Army Daycare center in St. Paul.  We played games with the kids and helped with their meal times.  It felt so good to help and spend time with them, it really made me think how lucky I am.  Overall, it was fun and an eye-opening service learning trip.  It is sad to say that I am going to be a senior this coming fall, and that this will be my last yer of IRYA.  I am going to miss it so much; especially Taryn and Tyler, they truly made everything function and most importantly, made it fun!

July 2016