Senior sneak trip to homeless shelter broadens perspective

The final lesson Hampton seniors learned before ending their high school careers had nothing to do with reading, writing or arithmetic, and everything to do with life.
On a “senior sneak” trip typically spent at the zoo or some other entertaining venue, the Class of 2017 spent the day instead in Lincoln, helping the homeless on a cold, wet day that left many of them with chills.
Principal Tim Huls planned what proved to be a humbling day for these Hawks, a group ready to spread its wings and fly like every other senior class turning tassels and celebrating this month amidst great pomp and circumstance. They embraced the challenge and soaked in a valuable lesson on a wet, cold, otherwise dreary day in Lincoln.
A video highlighting the day’s events, as well Huls’ blog on the outing, echoes a powerful message all of us need to hear from time to time. That lesson could not have been more timely for these seniors.
Despite down days and breaks that may sometimes seem to be going against us, someone out there, not far away, is facing far tougher times and circumstances. There may not be as many homeless folks here in Hamilton County, perhaps more than we know, but there are most certainly people in need.
It seems to me that field trip, or something like it, should be required learning for all high school seniors. The point is to look up, away from your cell phones, social media and all things electronic, and take the time to really see what’s going on around you. That difference in perspective can be startling.
The reaction from Hampton seniors during the day and afterwards was powerful. Many described the day as amazing, humbling, eye-opening, even life changing. One said she plans to volunteer her time in college, having experienced first hand what a difference her time and effort can make. And she’s right.
That feedback gave me chills, frankly, hearing teenagers talk about helping others, giving back, and making a difference, one person at a time. What a timeless, powerful lesson for all!
Kurt Johnson

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