Student’s love of volunteering inspires spring break service

12381243_10204158562683144_1578783965_o

by Tori Feldman

feldmanto@mnstate.edu

Netflix is probably the word most students would use to describe their spring breaks, but elementary education junior Maria Edelman has a different story. She used her spring break to help others.

Edelman is a part of Students Today Leaders Forever, an nonprofit engaging in servant leadership and arranging yearly cross-country trips called Pay it Forward Tours.

Edelman joined the group this fall and started volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in Fargo. She now volunteers at Gigi’s Playhouse, leading a program for infants with Down syndrome.

“I enjoy making a difference in the lives of the people around me,” she said. “I enjoy meeting new people and making their day a little better after volunteering.”

Four college students started STLF in 2004 at the University of Minnesota. The group’s mission was to “reveal leadership through service, relationships and actions.” On Pay it Forward Tours, students travel around the United States volunteering, reflecting and partaking in leadership activities.

This year, Edelman and other students started their PIF Tour in Nebraska City, traveling all the way to Dallas, Texas. Each day, they took on a different service project in a different city. In one, they raked leaves and cleaned up parks. At another, they volunteered at a zoo. Further along their route, they helped at a Humane Society and worked on houses as a part of a Habitat for Humanity project.

Edelman said she plans to be a special education teacher after graduation, but wants to keep volunteering as well.

This trip, she said, has inspired her. Edelman plans to get more involved with Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society in Fargo-Moorhead.

Edelman said her spring break  was a “life-changing” experience she’ll never forget.

1044991_10154653519388492_5158605966895979561_n

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s