MARSING, Idaho -- It is the last weekend of Spring Break for many high schoolers in the area. But one group of students is helping to change perceptions of their generation by spending their time off volunteering instead of partying.
For about 100 high schoolers in an organization called 'One Stone', their Spring Break meant shoveling, raking, building and painting in Marsing. It started with helping build a memorial to Taylor Sauer, a young woman from Marsing who died earlier this year.
We broke ground yesterday on Taylor's Corner and so we've been working on her memorial, said Chelsea Schiller, a senior at Rocky Mountain High School and a member of One Stone. We've been working on the community garden, working along Island Park. The Marsing City Park, we finished today. We're working on benches for the community today, so it's really exciting.
It's all a part of Break Through 2012, an annual event where high schoolers from all over the valley spend two days volunteering in a community that most of them don't even live in.
It's so different, the community service, said Patrick Schutz, a senior at Bishop Kelly High School. We plan the projects. Everything is student-run.
This year, our focus is 'small pieces, big picture,' said Schiller. Which is focusing on the parts of the community, and how together, as we collaborate, we come to a whole.
The volunteering ran from Friday to Saturday afternoon, complete with a night's sleep at the high school.
I'm trying to get all my friends in on it, because this is a great experience that everyone should do, said Elizabeth Turner, a junior at Capital High.
But why would this many high schoolers give up their time off to work this hard?
I almost don't even look at it as 'giving it up,' said Schiller. I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else but here.
I'm not in Cancun, or something like that, said Schutz. But for me, this was the highlight of my Spring Break. We've been working, planning it for so long. It's kind of fun. It may be kind of crazy, but I really enjoy it.
What I like about it? I think it's like how we change people's lives by helping, said Turner.
A lot of people underestimate the power of youth, and it's really exciting to just show everything we really can do, said Schiller.
The kids said the people of Marsing were fantastic to work with, providing transportation, food, and more.
If you'd like to learn more about One Stone, you can click here.