ASU Young Life helps improve living standards in Mexico

(Photo Courtesy of Scott English Photo)

(Photo Courtesy of Scott English Photo)

 

ASU’s Young Life will travel to Mexico on Friday to help build houses for the less fortunate people of Puerto Peñasco or Rocky Point.

Young Life performs service projects monthly and takes trips like this one at least once a year, ASU alumnus and Young Life employee Bruce Weaver said in an email.

“ASU Young Life goes down (to Mexico) with 40-80 college students and helps build these houses for one to three families,” he said. “This year we are building two houses for two families.”

 

 

The students who registered for the trip will travel there by bus and camp out in tents. Their trip only lasts for three days, so the volunteers build very quickly.

Former ASU student and current Young Life volunteer Scott Milam has participated in these philanthropic trips.

“When February came around the first year I was a part of Young Life, they told us about an opportunity to go serve the people of Rocky Point by building homes for those who lived in plywood shacks,” Milam said. “I knew I needed to do it. I needed to be a part of something bigger than myself. Not just to feel good about myself, but also to actually become someone who cares deeply about other people, especially people in need.”

He has taken part in all of these trips to Mexico since he joined Young Life.

“To date, ASU Young Life has built about 15-plus homes in Rocky Point,” he said. “We are able to make a huge difference in a few families’ lives each year.”

Although the trip is sponsored by Young Life, it is open to anyone for a traveling fee.

“The cost of the trip includes the building materials to actually build the house, as well as all of the equipment and food,” he said. “So the hope is that we aren’t just manual labor, but we are actually paying for the home to get built too.”

ASU Young Life is more than trips and service projects, however. It allows college students to create relationships and find refuge from the struggles of college life.

Early childhood education senior Haley Shade has been involved with Young Life for the past three years, and she said she wouldn’t trade the experience it has given her for anything.

“When I first came to ASU, the overwhelming amount of people made me feel small and out of place,” she said. “I had always heard about meeting your best friends in college, but it seemed impossible when I would step foot on campus. Then I got invited to Young Life and suddenly I found a place where people wanted to do college and life with me. I found people I would be friends with for the rest of my life and began to feel a little less small walking on campus.”

For students like Shade, Young Life provides groups to join, small and large. These groups exist to allow students to talk among peers, create relationships and much more.

More information about the trip and the organization can be found on its website. Young Life meets every Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the lower level of the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus.

Reach the reporter at aincardone@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @AshleyIncardone