Minnehaha Academy CFE program participants plugged in to serve

Minnehaha Academy’s Cultural Field Experience program was back this year after missing last year due to schedule changes from the tragic explosion at the school’s Upper School. What a come-back year it was!

Students, faculty and staff were spread out all over the Twin Cities, nation and world, in the 1-2 week cultural immersion program that happened this March. Participants plugged in, served and learned from local organizations, schools, building projects, arts and culture from all parts of the globe. Each group was led by one or more of our incredible faculty or staff members at Minnehaha Academy.

The majority of students participated in service sites in St. Paul and Minneapolis, including places like The Sheridan Story, The Veterans Home of Minneapolis, the International Institute of Minnesota, Achieve Language Academy and many more. Students spent the week working with kids in classrooms, packaging food for the homeless, helping teach English to ESL adults from other countries, visiting and learning from different faith backgrounds, learning about Native American culture and history, and working in a variety of ways to be of service and learn from members of our community.

Many of these experiences were deeply impactful for partner sites and students. One ninth grader, whose group worked at an Elementary school that works with a nearly 99% Somali population, reflected on one of her days saying: “I experienced Christ today through the kids because they showed me love no matter what and they were so patient. I think talking with a group of girls today was so special and meaningful because they talked to me about their culture and what they do. I am so so so thankful for this class and the group of kids I am working with.

Several students participated in CFE National and International trips as well. This year, MA had groups in Kentucky, New York City, Slovakia, Roatan, Greece and Italy, and Vietnam. Each experience—unique in its own way—was life-changing for the students and leaders. Students got a chance to work hands-on to build homes for the working poor in Appalachia, participate in a renowned concert festival in New York, experience the rich history and art of Europe, continue to build the bond between a “sister school” in Slovakia, pour into a wonderful and impactful relationship with a Children’s Home in Roatan, and hike up mountains into villages to teach Hmong children in school.

The opportunities were endless and all of our students and leaders went above and beyond in representing Minnehaha, Christ and themselves in unbelievable ways!

The goal of the Cultural Field Experience program is to allow students to dive into an experience that will not only teach them about the world around them and the importance of empathy, but also to empower and equip them to learn from others and learn how much they have to offer. Ultimately, as people who bear the image of Christ, our hope is that we can be a representation of Jesus to others and this world.

We are so thankful and so proud of our students, faculty and staff for an amazing Cultural Field Experience year and all of the incredible work that was done!