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Published March 13, 2012, 10:32 PM

UND Students Spend Spring Break Giving Back

CANDO, ND (WDAZ-TV) - It's spring break for University of North Dakota students this week and instead of going to the beach, some students are touring the state to offer a helping hand.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

CANDO, ND (WDAZ-TV) - It's spring break for University of North Dakota students this week and instead of going to the beach, some students are touring the state to offer a helping hand.

You might not expect students to spend their spring break traveling North Dakota. But they say they're enjoying the trip, and community leaders say they're glad to have them.

It's a small community that has a lot of heart, and it's so beautiful about this town, that everyone works and helps each other," UND student Michelle Ellis said.

Ellis is originally from Los Angeles. She says it's a far cry from Cando.

"L.A. has their tendency of being very self-interested and everyone has to, like, stick on their own, be very independent and stuff like that, where this community is very teamwork and very hearted, you know help each other," Ellis said.

Michelle is in town with seven other UND students as part of the "stone soup bus tour". They're visiting six different sites in North Dakota to learn about everything from culture to economics.

James Gibbens with Towner County Economic Development says small towns give the students a better view of how communities work.

he students also pitched in to help paint the basement of the Audi Theater. They say visiting Cando shows them the importance of helping your community.

"I just feel like they band together so much more because they're small and they do have to fight for a lot of the things that the have, versus like a bigger town where there's more funding for things. I feel like people maybe don't value it as much as they should," UND student Emily Weichert said.

And those lessons are worth more than spending spring break lying on a beach.

"One week will help me with many opportunities in the long run, so I can take that sacrifice now," Ellis said.

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