New Orleans Service-Learning Trip: Day 1 Recap

Today, the Class of 2025 Student Service Program embarked on their service-learning trip to New Orleans to experience the needs of a community outside of their own. One of our favorite parts of these trips is hearing the students’ different takeaways. We’re going to share with you testimonies from two of our students.

Takeaway from Shireen Isakson, Largo High

Today, we landed in New Orleans! After arriving at the Tampa airport at 4:30 this morning, we made our way through baggage check, security and finally onto the plane.

Once we landed, we waited and then made our way to two vans that we took to our hotel. After stashing our luggage away, we quickly headed off to volunteer with Second Harvest Food Bank! Second Harvest provides food and support to 700+ community partners and programs across 23 parishes in Southern Louisiana.

Half of our Student Service Program group split off to do work in the kitchen, where we and many other volunteers helped set up trays of food to be heated and prepared quickly to go out as meals, everything from frozen omelets to rice and gravy — with help from our great chaperones, Ryan and Mandy Nece!

After a lunch break, we took a trip to the Presbytère Museum, where we learned more about Louisiana history through Mardi Gras (and saw many of its costumes), and the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Katrina. Afterwards, we were treated to beignets from Café Du Monde and explored Jackson Square. Then finally, it was time to return to the hotel!

Takeaway from Armiyah Burns, Robinson High

Waking up early to go to a volunteering event was stressful yet endearing, especially when we learned the causes and the impacts for the mass need for food banks and volunteering.

Particularly at Second Harvest Food Bank, I worked with food packing, which not only did fellow volunteers and students make a fun process by playing music, but we were also helping for a better cause. Providing kids that could be our siblings age range, all of which were provided with a nutritious snack time kit for summertime events outside of school. Considering that schools are closing for the summer is a pivotal point to be resourceful and to volunteer at food banks, especially for the kids whose only real source of nutrition is from school meals.

Overall, it provided a lesson that volunteering can be fun as well as impactful, and the smallest acts of kindness can be extremely helpful to strangers.

We are so proud of these students who are choosing to spend a week of their summer vacation volunteering alongside their peers with the Ryan Nece Foundation.

Read More

New Orleans Service-Learning Trip: Day 2 Recap

New Orleans Service-Learning Trip: Day 3 Recap

New Orleans Service-Learning Trip: Day 4 Recap


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