GJHS students ready for the spring break trip of a lifetime

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Spring break is coming up for students in School District 51 and some students at Grand Junction High School are taking a different approach, by traveling across the globe.

Twenty Grand Junction High School students, along with parents and staff, are heading to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

"We're going to see a lot of sites, but we thought it'd be neat to help the people and the children in schools and orphanages," said Justin Whiteford, a GJHS teacher leading the trip. "Take our community and give back to another part of the world."

Everyone raised money and found sponsors to pay for the 10-day trip which begins Thursday.

"I'm going to experience a culture that someone could talk to me about and tell me about it, but to experience firsthand is something else," said Matthew Dvorak.

"My grandpa who raised me was in the Vietnam War," said Ivory Mallinson. "I'm looking forward to being there and being where he was."

A few people have had some hiccups trying to head out of the country.

"I've never left the country before so I never had to pack for a trip like this," Dvorak said.

"Between visas, and shots, and getting passports ready, and just making parents feel comfortable, it's a lot," Whiteford said. "You just don't go into the jungle and not have some anxiety and a few challenges."

But what awaits them will make it all worth it.

"We can apply it in the classroom and their life here," Whiteford said. "More importantly they come back and they appreciate what they have."

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