Winona Senior High School students making positive influences in service learning class

Winona High School junior Amaya Ramirez has always had a passion for helping out others.

“It’s a big deal to me to give back,” Ramirez said.

But she never imagined herself working with the elderly, until this semester.

“I decided to go out of my comfort zone, and I actually like it a lot,” Ramirez said.

Today, she was helping them decorate their favorite holiday cookies.

“I feel like having somebody come in to just spend time with like even an hour, will benefit them really well and put a smile on their face,” Ramirez said.

All just to give them a good day to look forward to.

“But when they laugh and stuff or win a game, they get really excited about it,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez participates in a service learning class and volunteers at Adith Miller Manor.

“I come by and visit them, and their supervisor here at their sites does an evaluation, teacher Sarah Dixen said.

Dixen says this course means much more than your standard one.

“In the traditional classroom, you kind of just blend in,” Dixen said. “But in service learning, you really are an integral part of someone’s life, and they really rise to the occasion.”

Ramirez looks to have done just that.

“Whenever I’m ready to go to school, they kinda like don’t want me to leave, really,” Ramirez said.

And despite the process, she’s made some new buddies.

“It’s hard to relate on something with them,” Ramirez said. “But now we’ve all kinda grown a relationship with each other.”

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.