14 Iron Range Youth in Action students complete service trip

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Extension Office • 2503 Rice Lake Road • Duluth, MN 55811 • (218) 733-2870

307 First Street S., Suite 105 • Virginia, MN 55792 • (218) 749-7120


Patty Swedberg
Extension Administrator


September 1, 2016

CONTACT: Patty Swedberg

St. Louis County Extension Administrator

(218) 733-2879

IRYA youth serve meals, help kids during two-day service trip

Fourteen students from five Iron Range Schools joined together to help children and families served by two Twin Cities agencies. The two-day trip in late July brought Iron Range Youth in Action (IRYA) students to the Ronald McDonald House and a Salvation Army kids camp in St. Paul.


This was the second annual service-learning trip for IRYA youth. The students chose the organizations where they wanted to serve and worked to raise funds to cover the costs, and then IRYA program coordinators scheduled the itinerary. The students were responsible for planning a meal, shopping for necessary groceries, and then preparing and serving the food to 70 people at the Ronald McDonald House. The following day they visited the Salvation Army kids camp, playing games and spending time with the children there.


"I feel that we made a huge difference, and that we learned a ton," said Andrew Dale, a senior from Mt Iron-Buhl High School. "We played games with the kids and helped with their meal times. It felt so good to help and spend time with them, it really made me think how lucky I am. Overall, it was fun and an eye-opening service learning trip."

"You meet so many people, whether it's just kids from other schools, or the little kids you help," said Marissa Peterson, a senior at Virginia High School. "Bonding and getting to know each other by grocery shopping or having a pool party was all a great time. But, what was even better, was helping out and making a dinner for the families who appreciate it more than we know. Meeting new kids and learning their story gives you a new look at life, and what we take for granted."

IRYA students involved in the trip came from Southridge, Mountain Iron-Buhl, Virginia, Hibbing and Mesabi East schools. They were lead by IRYA program coordinators Taryn Burnett and Tyler Erickson. 

IRYA is a service organization that promotes youth leadership with a goal of bringing positive change to northern Minnesota.To learn more about Iron Range Youth in Action and the opportunities it provides for youth and their communities, visit call (218) 749-7120 or visit irya.org.


IRYA Ronald McDonald House

IRYA students outside the University of Minnesota Ronald McDonald after preparing and serving a meal to the residents and staff. Shown L-R are: (front row) Corwin Johnson, Billy Keute, Marissa Peterson, Andrew Dale, Michael Sullivan, Nyah Adams, Quentin Stevens (back row) Madi Walters, Rochelle Tevik, Delanie Bushbaum, Brooke Eddy, Marissa Bober, Vinny Benkusky, Max Pawlikowski

IRYA serving food

IRYA students prepared, cooked and served a meal for 70 people at the Ronald McDonald House.

IRYA students - serving lemonade

Students served lemonade and tea at the Ronald McDonald House. Shown are: Marissa Peterson, Quentin Stevens, Nyah Adams, and Max Pawlikowski



Media note: click on any of the above images for a larger resolution version to download.