Every year students volunteer their time for a whole weekend with the common goal of making an impact in Milwaukee.
The InterCity Impact trip was organized by the student involvement and employment office, taking place April 15 through 17.
Bitty O’Leary, junior elementary and special education major, is SIEO’s service coordinator.
O’Leary helped to organize this semester’s service trip and explained the focus of the trip was on poverty and homelessness.
The students that went on the trip volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission and the Hunger Task Force.
“Every night we had a reflection where we talked about the day and the services that we did. We talked about our biases towards people in low income situations and different ways that we can fight those biases that society tells us to have,” O’Leary said.
According to O’Leary, the trip gave students the opportunity to see a side of Milwaukee that they might not have seen otherwise.
Alexis DeJardin, junior elementary and special education major, was one of the volunteers that went on the trip. She explained that her favorite part of the trip was working at the Boys and Girls Club with the children.
“I think actually meeting these families and knowing that, that could have been any of us growing up was really impactful to me,” DeJardin said.
Dejardin felt that the trip gave her the opportunity to be exposed to issues in Milwaukee that she would otherwise not have seen.
Bethany Thomas, freshman biochemistry major, also really enjoyed volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club.
Thomas admits that growing up in a middle class family, she never felt she was rich. Volunteering with the children helped her to realize the privileges that she had growing up.
“You would sit down and five kids would swarm to you. The kids were just so excited that we were there,” Thomas said.
Thomas felt that the trip helped her to understand what it really means to be impoverished.
“Poverty isn’t always represented by someone who is starving or someone who does not have a house,” Thomas said. “Someone that is starving could be living next door to you, but you wouldn’t know it because they are not going to talk about it.”