Rockhurst doesn’t close its doors during summer. The school is still active with service trips, summer school, training sessions, etc. This year’s TIE trips and Alaska trip were two standouts, as they pushed students beyond their comfort zones and challenged them.
This year’s Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors participated in TIE KC, TIE Tennessee, and TIE Tijuana respectively. All groups performed manual labor and learned about poverty in different contexts (urban, rural, and third world).
“The manual labor was challenging, but I learned a lot about the poverty that Tijuana faces,” senior Chandler Owens, a participant on TIE Tijuana, said. “A typical day involved waking up, driving to the worksite, filling concrete or digging, eating a home cooked meal prepared by the families we worked with and then driving home. We also had group reflections about where we worked and poverty as a whole.”
Rockhurst also worked with students from Xavier High School in New York. “I was surprised by how much I bonded with my classmates and the kids from Xavier. Playing sand volleyball and going out for tacos or fresh fruit was a lot of fun,” said senior Joe Russell. Students also got to visit the border wall from the American side and Mexican side. “I was surprised to see how vibrant the Mexican side of the wall was compared with the American side. There’s a nice beach and a ton of stores to hang out in,” said Russell.
The Total Ignatian Experience trips this summer were not the only thing keeping Rockhurst students away from their homes. Over this past summer, the students and teachers involved in the Rockhurst Outdoors Club participated in a two-week long adventure in Alaska. The seventeen students and four teachers found themselves doing things like hiking, ice climbing, pack rafting, and many other outdoor activities. “My favorite part of the whole trip was when we were isolated by ourselves in the wilderness,” junior William Suarez says. “We were split up into three different groups. We were taken one group at a time into the middle of the wilderness, each group in a different location, and had a goal to meet up with the other groups at the end of six days. We ate pre-cooked, dehydrated food and drank water from natural sources like streams and waterfalls.”
Overall, the students that went on these trips had a good time, and hopefully, their excitement also gets underclassmen excited about trips they can go on in the future.