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Marsing students give up spring break to serve city

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Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 8:52 am, Sat Mar 31, 2012.

MARSING — About 100 high schoolers from around the valley are braving the overcast weather on their spring break to volunteer at parks and schools in Marsing.

“Break Through” is the biggest service project put on by One Stone, a student-run service organization in the Treasure Valley.

In its five-year history, One Stone has worked with gang-targeted youth, migrant workers and the homeless population, said Riverstone International School student Davis Gilton.

“Oftentimes adults do not understand that a group of high school students have the ability to make such an impact,” he said.

Projects this year include improving the city park by the Snake River, painting, preparing a garden, and starting construction on an outdoor classroom to honor recent Marsing grad Taylor Sauer, who died in a car accident in January.

This year’s theme is “togetherness,” said Bishop Kelly senior Anna Kinalski, in her fourth year with One Stone.

“Marsing is a really great example of what defines true community,” she said. “The way … they came together after something as tragic as Taylor’s death is something we could all really learn from.”

Volunteering is “transformative” for the teens, said Neva Geisler, vice president of Community Engagement with United Way, a One Stone partner.

“A lot of them … have never been given the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way,” she said. “So for them to be able to have that first taste of what it’s like to do something for someone else as part of a bigger picture I think is really empowering.”

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