Dillon Greuel (left)

Dillon Greuel (left)

Spending a summer to remember

Four high school students sign up as volunteers with United Planet Volunteer Quest, helping out at a school in Santiago, Chile

While most high school students spend their summer vacations relaxing or working at their summer jobs, four Vernon students took a different approach.

Seaton students Jeff Schmidt and Josh Phillips, both 16; Schmidt’s cousin Dillon Greuel, 18, from Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Vernon secondary student Sam Grenier, 16, decided to spend two weeks of their summer to volunteer in Chile as part of a United Planet Volunteer Quest, where they assisted Chilean English teachers in their elementary classrooms in a poor area of Santiago.

At 8 a.m. each day, they arrived at the school, which was filled with children from Grades 1 to 8, and worked with five different teachers, rotating between the five different classrooms to help the students in their English language studies.

They worked closely with the teachers to improve the children’s English speaking skills by conducting classes, providing small group tutoring, and helping to correct tests.

They also gave cultural awareness presentations to high school students about themselves, their culture and their community.