Twenty Students Head to Canton, Mississippi, for Spring Break Service Trip


Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Adviser’s Note:  For an update on the impact of this service trip, read Jessa Smith’s comments in Humans of NDA.

For 17 years, juniors and seniors at Notre Dame have been spending their spring break doing service in Canton, Mississippi.

The trip was started by former NDA staff member, Ann Weiss, with the help of IB coordinator, Matthew Schultz. Weiss had gone on a similar trip in college and wanted to bring that kind of experience to Notre Dame.

Students and chaperones will leave on Saturday, March 10, and travel in vans to Mississippi. Members of the service team include eight senior girls (Deidre Bellmore, Hannah Ciriacks, Rebecca DeBoer, Dahyana Flores, Molly Gallagher, Allison Rakers, Claire Sievert and Kate Stumpf), three senior boys (Ben Lelinski, Joel Haas and Keith Hansford), six junior girls (Megan Berndt, Madison Hansen, Hope Krumrei, Grace O’Malley, Jessa Smith and Ella Tristani) and three junior boys (Wes Glime, Owen Martzke and Maxwell Sonnenburg). The chaperones will be Mr. Kriegl, Mr. and Mrs. Morzenti and Mr. Metzler.

Students do everything from building houses to helping with kids. There will be a three- day art camp for the kids. This year campus minister Mr. Daniel Kriegl plans to “spend more time with kids that have rough backgrounds or tough home situations.”

Rebecca DeBoer, a senior going on the service trip, is looking forward to this part.

“I’m excited for helping out with the little kids, because I love hanging out with little kids,” said DeBoer.

Paul Gapinski, a senior who attended the trip last year, said, “I think the most fulfilling part was seeing how it all came together in the end. Going day to day and working on the house or somewhere else, you weren’t seeing the progress, just the small part that day. On the final day, it was really cool to see it all finished and to understand that that’s what we did.”

Kriegl also wants to see the start and finish of a home repair. He said, “I hope that we can start and finish a home repair. Last year we saw it for the first time.”

Besides doing service, Kriegl also hopes to build the spiritual lives of the students and chaperones on the trip. Morning mass is offered every morning of the trip, and prayer is brought into the service trip during many occasions.

One of Kriegl’s favorite parts is doing a “high low.” Each night, everyone on the trip meets together and talks about the best part of the day, their high, and the worst part of the day, their low. Prayer is brought into this aspect as well.