A group of Utica Academy for International Studies students have expanded the definition of community service.
During a recent educational trip to Spain, UAIS students spent one day taking part in a service project for a Hostel staffed by individuals with disabilities.
The students spent time improving the grounds of the hostel in Barcelona where they stayed during a portion of the eight-day experience.
"Through doing service, students are able to interact on a different level with locals as well as give back to the communities that we visit," said teacher Annette Burak. "Many times, the service projects are the students' favorite part of the trip."
UAIS student Nicholas Elliott said the service activity was a way to repay those who had made them feel welcome.
"It felt good to help the workers of the hostel clean up, since they did their best to make sure everything was perfect for us," he said.
His thoughts were echoed by UAIS senior Shirley ElFishawy: "To feel like I was helping others at the hostel helped me feel useful, and we got closer to both the staff and each other. It gave us all insight into the work it takes to keep up the place they so graciously let us stay in, and I think the experience provided us all with more awareness. I would absolutely do it again and believe it was an important part of our trip."