Looking deeper

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By Kirsten Laskey

At first glance, it may seem like most Americans live comfortable lives, and this comfort affords them a limited view and feeling of the world’s troubles, but if you look deeper, Americans, at least locally, do dare to look beyond middle class lines and even across country borders with the desire to help.

Students at Los Alamos High School proved their empathy toward young people living in Sierra Leone, an African country slowly recovering from civil war, by contributing $600 to the Youth Development Initiative (YDI), a student organization founded at Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Wash., to empower Sierra Leone students to implement their own community service projects.

The contribution was significant, said Elena Gustafson, a member of YDI and a 2006 graduate of LAHS. It was the most money the organization had received in one “chunk,” she said, besides grants.

Other sources of money came from some grant money from Whitman College and fundraisers the student organization conducted.

LAHS first heard about YDI and its work when Gustafson gave presentations to classes at the high school at the beginning of the year.

Their response to what she had to say “was above and beyond what I expected.”

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