Midvalley students spread goodwill | AspenTimes.com

Midvalley students spread goodwill

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Students from two private schools in the midvalley are going on goodwill missions to help people in need in Mississippi and Mexico during the next few weeks.

For the third consecutive year, the senior class at Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale is heading to Pearlington, Miss., to help with that community’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

Pearlington is the area that the Carbondale Fire Department selected for a direct aid effort after the hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005. Other governments and organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley joined the aid effort.

Pearlington is a rural, unincorporated area in a poor section of Mississippi. Many homeowners have depended on volunteer labor and donated materials to rebuild their homes.

The 35 seniors and a handful of chaperones from CRMS will supply elbow grease to volunteer projects from March 9 through 15.

“This will take place as part of Interim, the annual week-long experiential-education projects that all CRMS students take on in small groups,” said Jeremy Simon, the school’s director of communication.

The seniors vote on what do to as a group for Interim Week. They can explore a passion, craft or embark on a service mission. The ongoing need at Pearlington continues to draw them back.

Teachers, administrators and volunteers help set up the logistics and chaperone the trip, but they do not pick the event.

Students from Alpine Christian Academy in Basalt also will undertake a goodwill mission this spring. About a dozen students will go to Samachique, Mexico, to assist the Mexico Medical Missions with building projects and outreach efforts to the Tarahumaran Indians of the Sierra Madre.

The trip will be the fourth mission trip Jason Caudill, a senior at Alpine Christian Academy, has been on since he started high school there.

“Being part of a missions trip, and going to help people really affects you in a big way,” Caudill said. “When you see the way others live, and you remember that experience, it impacts the way you choose to live.”

The trip to the impoverished area has proven to be an eye opener for the Basalt students. More than 50 percent of the children in Samachique die before they reach age five.

The students from the school regularly go on service trips and apply a clear mission ” use the Academy’s core values of truth, love, scholarship and service to help those in need, according to a statement from the school.

Both schools have undertaken various fundraisers to help pay for the goodwill missions. Donations still are welcome from anyone who wants to help.

Colorado Rocky Mountain School can be reached at 963-2562.

Alpine Christian Academy can be reached at 927-9106.