Summer service impacts student’s lives

Jesse Orrico

Jesse Orrico

Alexia C., Journalist

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Seniors Heather Hill and Heidi Harrop were two students that ventured out of their comfort zones this summer to give service outside of the United States. Both girls enrolled with the service opportunity through the HEFY (Humanitarian Experience for Youth) program.

Heidi Harrop is a busy person. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the Ambassadors, Layton City Youth Council, and is also a Lancelle. However, she chose to take time out of her hectic schedule to join students from around the world to serve a family in Samoa. The group was made up of 18 students and some adult leaders. When they arrived, they had the opportunity to meet the family they would be serving. “Family” in Samoa is a little different from the standard American family.  Often “family” in Samoa includes more than immediate family.  It can extend to grandparents and even uncles and aunts. Harrop guessed there would probably be about twenty people living in the home they were working on. The house built was a traditional style home for Samoa called a “Fale.”  It was a large room with a bathroom built independently from the house.  The bathroom would require installing a septic tank to handle the waste because they had no formal sewer system. The student service group spent two and a half weeks on the home. Some of the things Harrop did included chopping down trees and carrying the trees to the home site; gathering rocks, digging, mixing cement, carrying bricks and working on the roof.  Harrop was very grateful for the experience. She said, “It not only blessed their lives, it also blessed mine.” Harrop was humbled from serving in a third world country. When she returned home she said she found herself checking the way she was living her life and thinking about the people she chose to surround herself with. She now appreciates the simple things more.  She now knows how much she is blessed to have and was happy to have helped them. Harrop would recommend humanitarian service 500 out of 10 to everyone.

Heather Hill is the captain of the Layton Cross-country team, a member of the track team and an Ambassador. She plays the piano and enjoys doing art. Hill traveled to Peru for her summer service project. She has participated in service projects before, mainly for her church, but this was her first experience with a program like HEFY. A group of 23 students, two trip leaders and two parents attended. The group spent 18 days in Machu Picchu, touring and getting to know each other. The service was done in Lima where they participated in the paving and placing of stones for a hospital. The hospital would be for children cancer patients and would be the first in Machu Picchu. The Ministry of Health praised the youth group for what they accomplished and thanked them personally for their service. Hill loved Peru and was sad to head home. She plans to serve again if she is able and to travel to Peru for a visit.

Heidi Harrop and Heather Hill were both changed on their trips. They significantly helped those in need and were introduced to a new understanding of life. Heather said, “It was eye opening.” Both girls mentioned how grateful they feel to live in the United States. The HEFY program addresses issues all around the world, with the help of students just like Heather and Heidi. One project can support a nation.



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The Student News Site of Layton High School 440 Lancer Lane, Layton UT, 84041
Summer service impacts student’s lives