My Story - Hannah Youngquist
Hannah Youngquist - Student Leader
St. Catherine's High School
My name is Hannah Youngquist and I’m enjoying my fourth and senior year here at St. Catherine’s High School in Racine. This summer I was lucky enough to discover an organization called Students Today Leaders Forever. I joined a five day Pay It Forward Tour leaving from Minneapolis in June of this year. I’m still in awe of what a fantastic, life-changing experience it was. I’m so glad and grateful that I made the effort to participate in this experience.
I was intrigued by the concept when I first found out, so I called STLF and found that I could join onto a bus leaving from Minneapolis. This bus was a mix bus – there were kids from three cities, Moorhead, Breckinridge and Minneapolis (well, four including me). So I was totally thrown into this, and I’m so glad I was, because I made 31 new friends as we donated our time and talent to worthwhile organizations. We paid it forward.
We started in Minneapolis, where we spent time at an organization called Feed My Starving Children. We packed specially formulated dehydrated meals to be shipped to countries all over the world to feed starving children. We packaged, boxed and loaded up enough food to feed 44 children for a year; we saved the lives of 44 children. We then traveled to Madison, WI, and spent a morning with Habitat for Humanity – I put up sheetrock with five other girls, and we hope that we contributed more than we set back. Then to Rockford, IL, and we spent a morning in a nursing home/rehabilitation facility, talking with residents. I had some really meaningful conversations, and that was actually my favorite service project.
We also visited two college campuses, Minneapolis and UW Madison, and spent our afternoons and evenings playing lots of fun games, doing team-building and leadership activities, and really getting to know each other. There were some powerful experiences, and I’m really grateful I got that experience. Especially considering I shared that with 31+ people I hardly knew, but came away better from having met them.
Now that I’ve partaken in this experience, I’m planning to work with Ellie (a St. Cats alum and active member of STLF, who told me about the PIF tour) on launching tours from Racine. We’re talking to Racine Unified School District so kids and groups can leave from the public schools, so hopefully I’ll get more experiences with more people. The ultimate goal is to have tour buses leaving from St. Cats, full of St. Cats students ready and excited to do service work.
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Reply #3 on : Sun April 21, 2013, 19:42:32
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My Story - Dan "Sparky" Knapp
Sparky shares his experience through multiple years of PIF'n