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Willsboro student joins Mission of Hope

If successful, she will join the ranks of more than 450 individuals, students and adults from the North Country and beyond, who have traveled to Nicaragua at least once with Mission of Hope. While many have originated in Essex County, Robare will be the first high school student from Willsboro.

The plan, she said, is to leave Feb. 11 as one of about a dozen volunteers that include fellow high school students, college students, and adults. The group will then return about a week later.

"We're going to help out at the school that the mission built," she said. Also, she expects to be heavily involved in building home shelters for families and implementing other programs supported by contributors to the Plattsburgh-based organization.

Six hundred and fifty dollars is the cost to build a home shelter, Robare said; a facility that is little more than a makeshift one-room shelter with no electricity or plumbing. Still, it is a gift that brings a Nicaraguan family great joy.

"That's another reason why I'm going is to see the smiles on their faces," she said, "just to see their happiness and to help them get that happiness."

The mission helps in many other ways as well, such as planting moringa trees that aid in water purification, gathering donations of medical supplies to combat widespread health issues, and distributing Nicaraguan rice and beans to the area's most impoverished families.

"That way we're helping them two-fold," Robare said, "because we're buying their food and giving it to their people."

Robare's classmates have put together plans for a senior trip to San Diego in the coming weeks, but she saw little fulfillment in raising funds for a California fling.

"I figured why do that when I could do something that can help people," she said.

Robare is no stranger to community service, having been involved in several local projects through Girl Scouts and National Honor Society, as well as supporting youth programs at her church. She has also been helping package donations of food and clothing for North Country Mission of Hope in preparation for her trip.

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