An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Amelia H. ’22 and Nina C. ’22

Last week, Lakeside 8th-grade students were on cultural- and service-immersion trips as part of our Global Service Learning program. For one week, they lived and worked alongside people in communities where issues of economy, environment, and culture intersect. The experience provides an opportunity for students to learn about the region, connect with peers, and consider their own identity and values. Structured reflection is a key element of the program; here, students on a trip at Broetje Orchards share thoughts about their fifth day.

 Today we went back to the school and had another lesson with Mr. Manny and Ms. Danielle on being a hero. We researched young leaders and how they are making a difference. In pairs, we presented our research information and learned about how these young people do not let age defy their ability to promote change.

We got to play during the kid's recess time, strengthening our bonds with the youth in the community. We all love time spent with the kids because it makes us feel like we are giving back to the community just by being joyful and happy.

Later on, we walked up the hill to a small taco truck where there were 120 delicious tacos waiting for us. It was a very fun celebration of National Taco Day!

After that, we went to a nearby field to have a one hour solo. This was a time to collect our thoughts and emotions silently, as well as reflect on how the trip is going so far. We believe that this is a good practice for us because we have very busy lives and sometimes are never able to pause and reflect.

Shortly after, we made our way back to the school and met with three members of the community who shared their stories with us. This made us realize how much these parents give of themselves in order to provide their children a better future and how many sacrifices were made in order to find happiness and a "safe haven" for their families. These stories brought tears to many of us inside the room as we realized how many hardships this community has endured in order to be in the position they are today.

We also spoke with a trauma counselor who taught us about the three developmental stages of the brain and how we behave when we are in each stage. This was a very good thing to learn and become more aware of because many people go through these stages on a daily basis without much contemplation. We learned about the 10 ACEs; which stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. These affect youth development and are detrimental to behavior and emotions. Experiences of this degree will affect the child for the rest of their life.

Afterwards, we went to watch some of the middle school soccer game. It was coed!

In conclusion, this experience is very eye opening because we realize that people are very dedicated to getting an apple in the grocery store and everything we consume has a story behind it. We are fortunate enough to experience one of the amazing stories and this should make us more grateful for our lives in Seattle.