By: Kenan Kunc, Ambassador Scholar

CCI Greenheart staff members, Wioletta and Ariana, visited me and the other CCI Greenheart participants here where I worked in Custer State Park, South Dakota. I met up with them at the State Game Lodge. I was so happy because I got to tell them about my experiences with working and volunteering. I met some new friends from China and we completed a volunteer project that involved cleaning up trash along the side of a highway.

This was such an interesting experience for me. While we were picking up trash, some driver yelled “hellooo” and “thank you!” out his window. Then another driver drove by and used his horn to thank us.

I felt very proud and happy. I felt like I was doing something good for the world, and that feeling was the best part of the whole project.

As we picked up trash, Wioletta and I talked about cultural things, like the differences between Turkey (where I’m from), America, and Poland (where she was born). I told her about some environmental projects that are happening at my university in Eskişehir, Turkey. One is a recycling project, and another involves donating food to animal shelters. Finally we finished, and we did a good job. We picked up all the trash, and I actually think Custer State Park looked so much cleaner.

After the project, we were greeted with a surprise barbecue party at the Blue Bell Lodge at Legion Lake Resort. We ate burgers that were so delicious. I actually grilled some of the burgers myself.

Thank you for the opportunities to volunteer. We are so lucky. We are Greenheart!

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