The Prospector (Helena, Mont.) 1916-2015, March 29, 2007, Image 6

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Page 6 H e a d l i g h t s t r a v e l s t o N e w Y o r k By JENNA KESLER Prospector S taff Writer During spring break, 13 students from the Headlights group went to cold and snowy Rochester N.Y. Throughout the week, they were involved with inner-city schools, soup kitchens, a community health center, and a homeless shelter. The trip was led by juniors Kevin Jam and Drew Riley. Other students who went included fresh­ man Andrew Wood; sophomores John Morrison, Brielle Krumm, Grace Steele, Jenna Kesler, Maria Miller, Daniele Nelson, and Johnna Kimmel; junior Renee Malley; and seniors Kali Kreusel, Regan Seipp, and Tiara Sewell. The students stayed with the Sisters o f Saint Joseph of Roches­ ter. Each day, they would get up for prayer at 7 a.m. before heading to the site they were appointed for that week. Jam, Riley, Morrison, Krumm, Stelle, Kesler, Nelson, and Kreusel worked in different grade schools helping young kids read and write, as well as adapting to the kid’s dances, slang, and energy. Krumm, Stelle, and Riley were all at St. Matthews School where the student’s major population is black. The kids there danced and sang encouraging these Carroll students to do the same. “The children taught me so much about unconditional love and open mindedness,” said Krumm. Many students had no idea where Montana is. “Welcome to the United States,” said a first grader to Kesler. “Can you speak English?” Kimmel and Malley worked at the soup kitchen, and aside from serving did different needed tasks, some as uncomfortable as handing out men’s underwear. “Some women even came in needing underwear and asked if they could just have men’s, it was hard to tell them no and to come back another day,” said Kimmel. Sewell and Miller spent the week working with infants and toddlers at Day Star, a daycare for kids with special needs. “You see these beautiful little babies that can’t really move that much, and then they smile, it’s just soo amazing,” said Miller, who had a hard time leaving the last day. Wood and Seipp spent most of their week in the office at the Community Health Center, where they did a lot o f “behind the scenes” work. They answered phone calls and organized things so that people who needed help could get it easier. On Thursday, the group had the opportunity to work together one day at the Bethany house, a homeless center for women and children. They did different tasks, such as organizing personal care items, diapers, clothes and toys. Sewell and Kreusel also helped clean out the bedroom of a woman who passed away earlier that week. “When women come here, we pass no judgments, whether they are in prostitution or fighting drug abuse. We welcome them with open arms and in turn they care and respect us,” said Donna, a caretaker at the Bethany house. Each night, the group ate dinner together and reflected about their experiences from that day. “I can easily say that I got more out o f this trip than I gave. I went on this trip expecting to serve, which we did, but the part I wasn’t expecting was how much I receive,” said Krumm. “The Rochester trip is one o f my most favorite experiences. It's really nice to go there and im­ merse yourself in the kind o f love and action that you see everyday, even in the shadow of some o f the most dire circumstances. It's nice to be able for me, at least to kind of forget about myself for a while and just be,\ said Jam. One of Carroll's biggest assets: Suzie's smile Suzie Conroy cleans up at the Cyberwrap Cafe. PHOTO BY LAUREL CIFALA By JENNA KESLER Prospector StaffWriter Students are flocking to the Cy­ berwrap not only to grab their cup of joe five minutes before class, but also for daily comic relief in care of the familiar friendly face o f Suzie Conroy. Most don’t know however, that this smoothie creator is also a peace loving, scuba diving, go-get­ ter. “I like life. It’s fun!” said Conroy. Conroy has worked for Carroll food services for six years, the last four in the Cyberwrap café. “It’s a place where they can hang out, have fun, and get what they want to eat,” said Conroy. “It’s a fun place for you guys. A lot of people in crappy moods come in and we try to cheer them up.” Conroy spent her first two birth­ days living in Japan because her father was in the Navy. After grow­ ing up in Spokane and Seattle area, she came to Helena in 1966. After graduating from Helena High, she got married and traveled. “I was a hippie,” said Conroy. And a hippie she was. In fact, Conroy lived in a three-room com­ mune for two years in Wicks, Mont. “We had no running water or electricity, so we had to go pump our water. We did have an outhouse and some goats,” said Conroy. This ffee-spirit wore, not a flower, but a nice bone in her hair and took part in many protests against war, and human rights, among other things. “When we lived in Boulder, they had signs in businesses that said, ‘no shoes, no shirt, no peace signs, and no service,”’ she chuckled. But it didn’t stop there. Conroy was an active hitchhiker. If there was a big concert, Conroy would hitch a ride with someone with no worries. She went to many concerts including Jethrol Toll, Jefferson Airplane, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, CCR, and sat outside a Bob Dylan concert in which she could not get in. But life wasn’t always easy for Conroy. “I lived in a paper-sack for 10 years,” Conroy said. Conroy spent a lot of time in and out of foster homes, as well as struggling with alcoholism. “The best thing that ever hap­ pened to me was being an alcoholic. It made me realize what’s really important in life,” said Conroy seri­ ously. In her free time Conroy likes to read, be with her family, and is cur­ rently learning how to snorkel at the Crossroads. In addition to her work at the Cyberwrap, where she works seven hours a day, she can also be seen working the Carroll sports games. “Softball weekend was my fa­ vorite. That was the weekend I got sunburnt and got leprosy, (laughing) My nose was like gonna fall off... I think that was the only four days of work I missed,” said Conroy Conroy says that she loves com­ ing to work each day and joking with the students. “One day Suzie was in the Cy­ berwrap wearing a tiara. I asked her what was up with the tiara and she said in reply, ‘It’s my birthday week, dontcha know? You couldn’t help but love that,” said Cyberwrap regular Aliece Bright. “Suzie just brightens the rest of my day. You go in there and her energy and just gets me going,” said Daniele Nelson, who goes to the Cyberwrap almost every morning before hitting the books. Many students find themselves at the Cyberwrap café to enter this no­ blues zone that reflects those that work and eat there. “The older I get, the more I think it’s a great day to be alive and to meet people and hang out,” said Conroy with sincerity. Thursday, March 29,2007 Volume 90, No 6

The Prospector (Helena, Mont.), 29 March 2007, located at <>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.