ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Nine students from the University of Missouri drove 17 hours to spend their spring break doing community service in Roanoke.
"We are very far from home," said Site Leader Monica Roselli.
The University of Missouri students are using their break to help Roanoke non-profit REACH.
"Today we are sanding it down and doing some mudding, finishing that up," Roselli said.
They are helping REACH fix up a house in South East Roanoke so it can be one less abandoned house on the block.
Roselli explained this is the first time Roanoke was an option for their program.
"Coming here was just another kind of experience where I could leave the mid-west but also do something where I felt I was putting my time toward something."
This is Courtney Famuliner's second year doing an alternative spring break.
"I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences that I've had at Mizzou," she said.
She likes helping the community but also likes building friendships.
"Our participants didn't know each other before so that was one of the things we were really excited about was getting to know our participants."
The university released the following statement about the program:
"This trip is part of the Mizzou Alternative Breaks (MAB) program, based at the University of Missouri. Founded in 1991, MAB is led completely by students. From the board of directors to the site leaders, every participant is a Mizzou student. Spring break service trips provide Mizzou students the unique opportunity to gain a wider perspective of the world while immersed in a life-changing week of service to people and communities around the world. The overarching theme of REACH is community transformation thru service, relationships, communication, and education. MAB will be partnering with the organization to assist with after-school programs for children in the local community."
The students will stay in Roanoke through Friday, March 30.