On March 30 through April 3, a group of 18 students from John F. Kennedy High School attended a mission trip to Louisville, Ky.
Although people associate the city of Louisville as a busy place with spacious buildings, this trip allowed the poverty and homelessness of the neighborhoods to be shown. On a daily basis, most people would not go visit residents at senior centers, places for disabled adults, or daycares for poor children.
However, this is exactly what the trip consisted of.
Students followed the theme of the trip by going to various places and talking to different people. While conversing with these people, students developed relationships that they would not normally have had. At these areas, students learned that everyone was connected in the same, simple way: we are all humans. No matter how unique each adult or child was, conversation flowed easily, even though in some cases verbal speech was not involved. For many students, this trip was a life changing experience.
According to Maria Vince, a sophomore at JFK, "Going to Kentucky was one of the most inspiring experiences I've ever had. I now perceive things in a whole new way. Connecting with people is now a top priority in my life."
Along with Maria, other students commented that they will now visit similar places to the ones they attended on the trip. As one student explained, "Sometimes we look past people in our lives that we think are not relevant to us; like that homeless man you always see walking in the streets, or that "troublesome kid" riding his bike through the neighborhood every night. When we continually ignore these people and walk right on past them, we are missing out on a relationship with a human being that we didn't have before. A simple wave, or an ordinary "hello" can put a smile on a person's face for the whole day."
Overall, the trip was an unforgettable experience that opened the eyes of numerous people who will take what they saw and therefore, make a change to their own life.