Teenagers trade summer break for hard work - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Teenagers trade summer break for hard work

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A group of high school students chose to skip the lazy summer break and spend their free time helping people they've never met. The students are part of an organization called the American Jewish Society For Service.

Instead of spending their summer breaks with family and friends, they are working and serving people here in Metro Louisville.

At lunchtime at the Franciscan Kitchen on South Preston Street, there were a lot of hungry mouths to feed, so all the extra hands on deck was a plus.

"This summer I was really interested in trying something new," said Ariella Levisohn, high school senior.

Levisohn is with the American Jewish Society for Service.

"So we've done a lot of stuff, we've been here, we've also worked at a day camp down the street," said Levisohn.

The group is made up of teenagers from across the country who are giving up their summer breaks to help people they don't even know.

"The purpose of the program is to take Jewish teens and send 'em out into communities across the country and be able to perform voluntary acts of service," said Mara Herling, Project Director.

Herling says not only are the teens donating their time. She says, "There is a tuition associated with our program."

So everyone who is here clearly wants to be here. There's no financial compensation, but the students say there is the reward in helping others.

"And a lot of students that we've had here have really been able to experience that and really learn about new people and new places and experience new things in the world that are outside of their hometown bubble," said Herling.

"It has definitely not been easy, especially since it's still so new for me," said Levisohn.

It has been hard work, but Levisohn still has no regrets about spending her summer break serving and helping strangers hundreds of miles from home. She said, "It feels really great to give back to the community and especially just to be doing something with my summer instead of lying around hanging out with friends and watching tv."

The students move to a different location and project every day.

They will be here through the end of the July.

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