While some University of North Dakota students are spending their spring break at home or in sunny, warmer climates, approximately 120 of their classmates are on the annual “Pay it Forward Tour,” volunteering their time to serve communities around the country.
Last Friday morning, three buses left the UND campus, each carrying approximately 40 students. One bus is headed for Washington, D.C., and another for Dallas, Texas. The destination of third “mystery bus” will remain unknown until the day of its arrival. Along the way, students participate in community service activities and assist charitable organizations.
University Relations intern Taylor Brost, Sartell, Minn., is among the students spending their spring break on the road as part of the tour. His bus – headed to Dallas – has made stops at Sioux City, Iowa, Lawrence, Kan., and East St. Louis, Mo.
“It’s going really well,” he reported. “You meet lots of different people from different cultures and you feel really good about what you’re doing.”
So far, he’s helped get a camp for special needs children up and running in Sioux City, painted rain barrels and started plants germinating for planting around Lawrence and cleaned up a rehabilitation center in East St. Louis.
Another benefit of the tour is getting to know other students better.
“This is my second tour, and by the end of the trip everyone knows everyone so well that they can get together and go out to do jobs around the local community,” Brost said. “It’s a real bonding experience and a great thing that UND offers.”
Before reaching Dallas, the bus will make stops in Memphis, Tenn., and Hot Springs, Ark. The buses will return to UND on Saturday, March 16.
Ted Shibata’s on-the-road blog from Dallas bus
Patrick Miller, writer/editor
UND Office of University Relations