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Boston College students receive "eye-opening" experience while on volunteer trip in Florence

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FLORENCE, SC -

Most college students don't usually picture rural South Carolina as the hotspot destination for spring break.

For some Boston College students they are trading in their swimsuits and hotels, for work and inflatable mattresses.

"Learning about people's communities and lives and being in service to those communities it's something that has always been important to me," said Emily Wisniewski, a student volunteer and sophomore at Boston College.

These students are a part of the Appalachia Volunteers Program.

They work in conjunction with both Habitat for Humanity and the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project.

For the past week, they've done a laundry list of chores at the Boys and Girls Club in Florence.  Where they have been staying as well. 

They also have been out in the Pee Dee area learning about issues that rural communities face.  Including a hot topic, education.

"One thing that has really been enriching is seeing how this community's been working to change it. And they've really gone to the root cause of a lot of the injustices," said Wisniewski.

"It's definitely eye opening. But what I've really come to appreciate is how opening they are about it and not just side stepping the issue," added Trevor Doherty, a senior who is in his fourth year with the program. 

Maybe the biggest impact is with the children who walk through the Boys and Girls club every day.

"Y'all from Boston? Where's Boston? That's the first thing the kids say. It means and it really shows a different life because they are not used to college and stuff," said Jordan Washington, the Director of the Boys and Girls Club in Florence.

Although the students have been a big help.  They see this as a learning experience.

"To see some of this stuff first hand and learn it from the local community has been really great," mentioned Doherty.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it. Every minute. They help you, anything you need help with they will help and I don't want them to leave," said Washington as he laughed.

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