Spring is finally here, and the U of M campus is busier than ever; everyone wants to get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather and the gorgeous scenery on our campus. Spring break just ended for me, and what an amazing time it was!
I took the week off from school as an opportunity to participate in a Pay It Forward Tour through a student organization, Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF). STLF was actually founded right here at the University of Minnesota by a group of four freshmen looking to make a difference. Since then, the organization has expanded to serve thousands of college, high school, and middle school students by providing opportunities in service and leadership.
The Pay It Forward Tour is a nine-day bus trip across the United States. The students on the tour stop in five different cities along the way. In each city, a community service project is completed before moving on. The tour ends in a "celebration city" where many buses gather to complete one huge service project, and share the different experiences that were had on the trip.
To learn more about what the Pay It Forward Tour is, check out the short video below:
This spring break was my second college Pay It Forward Tour. I also participated in a high school tour, which was four days long. I love getting involved with STLF and feeling like I really made a difference in the world! On the tour this year (from March 9-March 17) I traveled to: Rock Island, IL; St. Louis, MO; Paducah, KY; Memphis, TN; Texarkana, TX/AR and Dallas, TX. The community service projects were extremely rewarding. In Rock Island, I met the oldest man in the Western Hemisphere while helping out at a nursing home (He's 111 years old!), and in Kentucky, I was able to read to the most adorable elementary school children. We also completed a few outdoor projects on the trip. The tourism is also what makes this trip amazing! I was able to see so much of the country in such a short amount of time, including sites like the St. Louis arch and Beale Street in Memphis.
Finally, my favorite part of Pay It Forward Tours is the people you meet along the way. I have made an amazing group of 41 friends who were with me on the bus. We shared an incredible experience together, we got to know each other very well, and we will stay in touch for an especially long time!
If you would like to learn more about STLF and the Pay It Forward Tours, please visit the STLF website at http://www.stlf.net. To see photos from my Tour and the other Tours that travelled to Dallas over spring break this year, watch the video below! I hope you are able to see what an amazing time I had by getting involved this spring break!