Marquette students devote spring break to tornado relief

KSDK - Students from Marquette High School in the Rockwood district are hopping a bus to Washington, Ill. They're giving up their spring break to help clean up the area hit hard by last fall's storms.

"We're all just really excited to do something with our time and help other people who are really in a lot of need" said Marquette junior Paige Dietrich.

She's one of 119 students preparing for a week of hard work and a little bit of the unknown.

"They said they'll be doing some debris cleanup but it's all kind of up in the air. We're just going to do whatever they need us to do to help cleanup from the tornado," junior Jim Jung said.

The E-F 4 storm that hit last November devastated Washington, which is Karen Kieffer's hometown. Marquette's Executive Director for Learning and Support Services went back the day of the tornado.

"Walking around you could see for miles there was nothing, just nothing left of homes," she said.

Some of the students boarding the bus also made last year's trip to Joplin. That experience was more than enough to convince sophomore Renee Owens to go to Washington.

"Because it was more recent I feel like they are definitely more in need and they will appreciate it more," Owens said.

The students' sacrifice hasn't gone unnoticed by school staff.

"You know, they could be going down to the beach and spending their time down there," said student teacher Kristin Bright. "But instead, they're giving their time and also giving back to the community."

"It really shows you about our young people these days that this is what they would do on their spring break. This trip sold out in 24 hours and they even opened up more spots for it," Kieffer said.

Marquette students aren't the only ones doing some good over spring break.

Students from Rockwood Summit, Eureka and Lafayette are heading to New Orleans to work with Habitat for Humanity and New Orleans Outreach.


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