An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Casey M. '23

Lakeside 8th-grade students recently went 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, Casey M. ‘23 shares thoughts about his seventh and final day on a trip at Broetje Orchards.

Today is our final day. Most of us can’t believe that we’re leaving, same with me. This week has been really amazing for me and everyone on the trip. We’ve accomplished, learned and done so many things in such a short period of time. We got to see what a well-functioning community, Broetje, looks like up close.

One thing that I noticed that people here do really well at and helps them be so successful is being non-judgmental when they meet new people. When we did an activity where we went into the orchard and took photos of workers, I realized why it’s important not to judge people by stereotypes or what you have previously heard about them. To take photos of the workers, they needed to sign a piece of paper. When I looked at their names on the piece of paper I didn’t think of them as just apple-pickers but as unique individuals with unique lives, families, cultures and stories that haven’t been told yet.

I’m really sad that we’re going home already but I hope that I can take home all of the things that I’ve learned here and share them with my family, friends and classmates.