This summer Michelle Pierson, a high school student from Afton, decided to spend part of her vacation in a third world country doing humanitarian work.
Pierson teamed up with Humanitarian Experience for Youth and 18 other youth from around the United States to build school classrooms in Bolivia.
July 9-25 the youth will spend long days doing manual labor in an effort to improve the lives of people in Bolivia.
“Simply stated, the mission of Humanitarian Experience is to change lives through service,” said Humanitarian Experience for Youth Founder Glenn Bingham. “It changes the lives of everyone involved.”
According to information provided by Humanitarian Experience for Youth, program participants wake up “early and put on [their] work gloves to spend the day digging, mixing cement, laying brick, and serving those in impoverished conditions.”
It’s a process that changes the lives of those to serve as well as those who are served, said Bingham.
“While doing this work abroad is certainly not an easy task, it helps people experience the joy that comes through meaningful service,” he said. “Participants inspire their peers, family, and community to make the time to serve those in need.”
Humanitarian Experiences for Youth is a nonprofit service organization that offers humanitarian expeditions to youth ages 16-19.
From the beginning of June through the end of August, Humanitarian Experiences for Youth will bring over 850 volunteer participants to 10 different countries to build schools, orphanages, medical clinics, and homes.
Each expedition consists of about 20 youth and four adults, and lasts for approximately three weeks.
Typically two days are set aside for sightseeing, but the bulk of the Humanitarian Experiences for Youth expedition involves serving others in poverty-stricken areas of the world.