For Marisa Bernstein, (right), a 16-year-old junior at Deerfield High School, being on the “front lines” with those in need was a particularly memorable part of the mission.
“The highlight of this trip to me was definitely the pop-up café we arranged for homeless people,” she says. “It essentially showed me how easy it can be to make someone’s day that much better and provide people with glimpses of hope they might have been in need of.”
Marisa adds that the trip as a whole gave her “a different perspective” on the concept of helping others.
“When we painted houses that were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey,” she says, “the homeowners were not only receiving a new home, but we were actually receiving a feeling of accomplishment, and [we] gained empathy and gratitude from this experience as well.”
Marisa says she also appreciates that the trip gave her the opportunity to learn more about Jewish values and specifically “about the different ways we can express our appreciation [for] the things we take for granted too often in our lives.”
What’s Marisa most grateful for right now?
“I am extraordinarily grateful to have experienced such an amazing trip and to have left with such remarkable lessons and friendships that I will remember for the rest of my life,” she says.